Additional Job Information

Additional Job Information

Additional Job Information

External Trustee

Thank you for requesting further information about one of our vacancies. We have prepared this information to help you complete your application. Please read it carefully. We look forward to hearing from you.

Birmingham City Students’ Union – A change organisation

Birmingham City Students’ Union is a charity with a purpose to enhance our students’ experiences and have a positive impact on their lives. We have spent time developing our strategic direction to better support our student membership and we are at an exciting stage of our journey mirroring the opportunity for change we aim to create with and for our students.

Our vision is to positively impact on, and enhance the lives of every Birmingham City University student. We have set ourselves this steep challenge to ensure we are catering for the wide range of students that make up our membership. Our primary goal is to represent all 24,000 students and create positive change within their university experience, be it inside or outside of the classroom.

At the centre is a strong ethos of promoting accessible student-led activity providing opportunities for student and societal transformation. We strive to work alongside all our students, a force for change and full of active members. This endeavour has been recognised and celebrated in winning several awards for our innovative approach to student engagement and partnership with the University:

2010Times Higher Award for Outstanding Support for Students

2011National Union of Students, Innovative Student Engagement Award

2013Higher Education Academy and National Union of Students, Students’ Union and Institutional Partnership Award

Our Structures

Birmingham City Students’ Union is independently of the University, although we receive an invaluable core grant from them each year and share many of the same aims. Set up as an independent incorporated charity, the board of trustees comprises of five student officers elected annually from the student body, who work full time to lead and direct the organisation and to represent the student membership. In addition, the Memorandum and Articles of Association introduce non-sabbatical student trustees and external trustees (non-students offering valuable experience and specific skills). We also have seven part time officers who join the five full time officers on a separate Executive Committee.

Our wide range of services includes the well established Advice and Information Centre, which provides comprehensive professional advice and advocacy for all students. Via Development and Opportunities team the Students’ Union runs over 90 student groups covering a whole spectrum of sports and special interest societies. Also developing a significant number of opportunities for students to undertake volunteering work within the local community. We create meaningful engagement throughout all our activity supported by our dynamic Marketing and Communications department.

We are also proud of our Student Voice department, developed from a successful history of student representation, democracy and campaigning on issues such as health, welfare, accommodation, student experience as well as campaigns on wider education issues.

Our Member Services team provide important services to our members and generate funds to allow the Students’ Union to provide other student support functions. Our turnover stands just short of £2.5m across a wide range of activity. We currently operate 2 bars, 3 shops, 2 catering outlets, a varied entertainments programme and a range of independently run units as well as a lettings agency, Birmingham City Students Homes housing over 500 students.

To support all of the activities described, the Birmingham City Students’ Union has a staff team of around200 and strives to be a positive employer. This means that our employment practices are designed to provide a rewarding environment for everyone who works within the Students’ Union. We are especially proud of our award winning work life balance policies.

So … if you want to assist a student focussed, stimulating and vibrant organisation; if you want to help students get the most from their time at University; if you want interest, variety and meaningful input at a Trustee Board level … then come and join us at Birmingham City Students’ Union. We know that our strength lies in the quality of the people around us and of those students we support…

Birmingham City Students’ Union

We have distilled the Strategic Plan 2012-2015 to one page. This is backed up with detailed team operational plans, targets and key performance indicators. We believe our main challenge is the vision to have an impact on every Birmingham City University student due to the disparate nature of the campuses and the Students’ Union resources. We truly believe that by concentrating our efforts in the areas the membership have directed we can achieve our vision.


We exist to enhance our students’ experiences and have a positive impact on their lives.


Relevant & Accessible

Student Led, Student Focused & Democratic

Innovative, Progressive & Adaptable

Supportive, representative & Responsive

Friendly, Welcoming & Inclusive

Union Vision:

We will positively impact on and enhance the lives of every Birmingham City University student.

Strategic Themes and Goals:


We will create a personal sense of belonging.

We will enable students to fulfil their creative ideas.

We will improve employability and life skills in order to enhance prospects.

Engagement & Communication

We will develop a Communication Strategy to raise awareness and build involvement.

We will remove barriers to make it easier for students to engage with us.

We will develop and improve a bespoke presence on each Campus.

Voice & Representation

We will establish a Data bank of Student Opinion to inform and influence.

We will facilitate integrated, connected, consistent student representatives at all levels that influences positive change.

We will support and lead relevant campaigns.

Support & Services

We will review and prioritise relevant services.

We will ensure all services are accessible to those students that need them.

We will investigate the feasibility of new services.


People: HR Policies, development, leadership and partnerships.

Process: Financial planning, performance indicators, communication, governance & decision-making.

The Trustee Board The Job – Trustee

External trustees were a new initiative for Birmingham City Students’ Union in 2010 and the initial external trustee terms finish in November 2014. All three initial external trustees served two terms of office and have had a transformational impact on the trustee board and Birmingham City Students’ Union. We since have recruited two outstanding specialist external trusteesin the field of Marketing, Campaigning and Higher Education.

Since 2010 Birmingham City Students’ Union has won numerous prestigious national awards and developed fantastically as we strive to reach the organisations vision. Evidenced by being in the top quartile of improving Students’ Unions as rated by our students in the 2014 National Students Survey. We are currently planning for migration to a new campus in the City Centre (June 2015) and will be looking at news ways of working to maximise our impact on students.

During the academic year 2013/14 we won two substantial project bids. Eco by BCUSU is a large sustainability project funded through the Student Green Fund.

Furthermore, in June 2014 we found out we were successful in being one of 54 Universities to be awarded funding from Sport England to increase the opportunities for student to participate in sport and physical activity whilst at university. Working with partners including the University and Serco Leisure we developed BCU Active where we aim to change theculture of students engaging in physical activity. Currently only 24% of students at BCU participate in sporting activity well below the national average.Complementing our existing British Universities and College Sports provision, BCU Activeaims to engage 10,000 students over three years within three specific sport pathways.

You will work closely with the Students’ Union’s elected Executive Officers and in particular the 5 full time Trustees/Directors.

These have the following roles:

  • President
  • Ensure the Students’ Union positively impacts on and enhances the lives of every Birmingham City Student
  • Provide student leadership, maintaining relationships and partnerships
  • Responsible for organisational finances and human resources
  • Vice President Student Development
  • Create a personal sense of belonging by increasing involvement in student groups and Students’ Union organised activity
  • Enable students to fulfil their creative ideas
  • Improve employability and life skills in order to enhance prospects
  • Vice President Student Experience
  • Review, prioritise and develop member services, investigating the feasibility of new services to improve the student experience
  • Ensure all services for students are accessible to those students that need them
  • Promote the welfare and rights of students
  • Vice President Student Voice
  • Responsible for democracy and use student opinion to inform and influence
  • Facilitate integrated, connected and consistent student representatives championing quality learning and teaching
  • Support and lead relevant educational campaigns
  • Vice President Student Engagement
  • Develop and drive a communication strategy to raise awareness and build involvement
  • Remove barriers to make it easier for students to engage with us
  • Develop and improve a bespoke Students’ Union presence on each campus

Summary of Terms and Conditions

Work Base: Birmingham City University

Hours and weeks of work:Approximately 4 hours 7 times a year. At times and dates most suitable for the External Trustees. 1 full day once a year for a trustee away day.

Holiday Entitlement:N/A

Rate of Pay:N/A but travel and expenses will be reimbursed.


Probation period:N/A

Timescale:Interviews will take place late 20th & 21st January at times suitable for candidates..

How to apply

At the end of the attached role description is a person specification. We will use this to assess your application. Candidates who are able to demonstrate that they meet the person specification most closely will be most successful. You may address the points raised in a covering letter and include an accompanying CV if you wish.

Please complete the application process and return your documents by the closing dateof23rd December 2015by email to

Thank you for your interest in Birmingham City Students’ Union, we look forward to receiving your application. If you wish to have an informal discussion about the role or have further questions please do not hesitate to email the Chief Executive Richard Evans