Quality Students' Unions

What is it? 

Put simply, it’s a quality framework to help Students’ Unions understand and implement good practice.

Quality Students’ Unions (QSU) is run by the National Union of Students (NUS) a confederation of Students’ Unions in the United Kingdom. There are around 600 Students’ Unions affiliated, which is 95% of all higher and further education Unions in the UK.

This is the only Students’ Union specific quality model and it focuses on two parts.

Part A is a framework which helps ensure that Unions are compliant with their statutory obligations.

Part B is a framework to help Unions achieve best practice.


What are the benefits of taking part?

Unions have to collect evidence and write up how they meet the criteria to form a submission for QSU. By doing so, a Union can see how well it is performing and identify areas for improvement.

You could consider it’s as if the Union is doing a self-diagnostic.

Plus, because it’s done through the NUS, it means that the NUS can collect and share good practice around Students’ Unions.


Update - October 2021

Blue, black and white logo with wording saying "NUS" and "Quality Students' Union"We told you back in the summer about Quality Students’ Unions (QSU), a quality framework for students’ unions that we were applying for. The framework is run by the National Union of Students (NUS) since 2013.

Unions can be awarded Good, Very Good or Excellent is they pass their QSU assessment. We’re delighted and proud to say that we passed with a Very Good accreditation, meaning that the work we do as a students’ union covers a range of best practices and we have demonstrable impact to our members.

Aatika Ayoub, GSU President, says: “This accreditation from NUS is great news and shows that the work put in at Greenwich Students’ Union really makes a difference. To have that recognised by the national body for students’ unions is fantastic, and a testament to the hard work that GSU puts in for Greenwich students.”

QSU is the only quality model specifically for students’ unions. It sits alongside standards and codes that are also used within the student movement and the charities sector such as the students’ union good governance code, Green Impact and Investors in People. The framework recognises what Unions are doing well and areas for continued development and improvement for their members. 

John Schless, our Chief Executive, says: “Our previous strategy, The Big Plan, plus the extra year of it through Covid has really seen the Union grow to become an organisation that supports and delivers for its members, and is a trusted partner with the University to provide the best student experience. There are still things we want to achieve and continual areas for growth and development; however, where we are as an organisation now is something to be really proud of. Thank you from me to all of GSU team – they deserve this accolade.”

In our new strategic plan for the next few years ahead, we will be working towards achieving the Excellent accreditation. For the meantime, we’re proud to call ourselves a QSU accredited Union, and look forward to further developing the work we do to ensure all our members become their best at Greenwich.