The Big Plan.




Our vision.

With you to make the most of your journey at Greenwich.

Our mission.

We empower students to have life-changing experiences, which help them shape their futures and the world around them.

Our values.

Empowering, Courageous, Dedicated, Trusted and Approachable.

Our goals.

Empower you to change the world, and have a great time at Greenwich.


Students at Greenwich

The Big Plan 2020/21

Our original Big Plan was due to end in July 2020. At GSU, we started working on a new strategy in Term 1 to launch for 2020/21. However, this, alongside many other things, had to be paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As we manoeuvred the SU offer in line with the guidance in the Spring and Summer term, GSU Officers – outgoing and incoming – and GSU staff worked on an operational plan that would steer the Union through a year of unpredictability, whilst we recovered from the impact of the changes brought on by the pandemic.

During the spring and summer, we conducted research through our Covid Impact Survey ( and collated feedback to Officers to create priorities for work across our staff teams. What we saw was that priorities for you – our members – were very similar to what we had been focusing on throughout our Big Plan.

So, we have kept the themes, values and goals of our Big Plan from 2017-20, focusing on five key areas for this year:



We will support your learning throughout this year of change by continuing to work with the University. We’ll harness your wants, needs and feedback to continue to be a trusted source of information on what you need from them to make the most of your journey at Greenwich.

We want you to have the best prospects for your careers once you finish your studies. Being part of our SU is proven to enhance your skills in and outside of your degree and make you more employable. We’ll continue to provide opportunities for you to develop and ensure you recognise what you gain from getting involved.
Mental Health 

Taking care of yourself is paramount in this time of change. We’re working to enhance our wellbeing provision through our Advice Service, student groups, activities on campuses and through our commercial outlets too to ensure you can get the support and/or relief you need as you journey through University this year.

We’re still committed to helping you make money by providing student jobs where we can; save money through great value services and activities, and learn how to manage the money you have by providing financial advice.

We still want to bring the fun to your student experience! We will continue to develop safe spaces – in person and online - that support you in having fun, working comfortably, getting help and making change.


Work on our strategy for 2021/22 onwards will start in 2021. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about our operational plan, contact us at

Click here to download our new Big Plan for 2020/21 (PDF that opens in a new window)

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The Big Plan 2017-20

We created our original Big Plan in 2016 through research and consultation with our members. The plan was broken down into eight areas to show how we'd reach our goals.

There are details below about each area of focus - click here to read and download our Big Plan document for 2017-20 (PDF that opens in a new window).

You can discover how successful we have been so far here.



SUUG Officers
Influencing the Uni 

We will work in partnership with the University of Greenwich, becoming a trusted source of information on what you need from them to make the most of your journey at Greenwich.

With measures like the Teaching Excellence Framework and National Student Survey now defining the quality of education, you have consistently mentioned a concern of the quality of teaching at Greenwich*. In a way, the one defining characteristic that all students here share is a desire for a good degree. We are here to ensure that the University is aware of your needs and are meeting their obligations. We are dedicated to developing the existing program representative network and see building a strong partnership with the University as key. We also believe that being a trusted source of information on what students need is the best way to evidence the benefits of good change.

Your Employability 

You have told us that you want a degree at Greenwich to get the best job and future, we’ll ensure that you can recognise how getting involved in your SU will make you stand out from the crowd and be more employable.

Career and employability are the two key areas impacting your decision to come to Greenwich*. While the SU continues to be a major employer of students, we saw that there is a need to emphasise that every level of engagement in the SU contributes toward a members employability.
The experiences gathered in being a member of a society and sports club, in representing a programme or faculty or in volunteering, if given their proper recognition, give graduates a competitive edge in the job market. Couple these existing programmes with investment in further, broader training for students and staff and we believe we'll be able to assist with this area you care about.

Students from Greenwich with merchandise bags
Managing Your Money 

When you’re a student you invest a lot more than just your time, so we’ll help you make money, save money and learn how to manage the money you have.

You told us that 'Finance' as one of your biggest concerns*. There is plenty of evidence on the national scene that money matters most to students. We're a not-for-profit organisation that aims to put as much money back into students pockets as possible and to be transparent in that process. This is so we can provide positive examples of how best to manage finances. We will further invest in our advice service, helping you manage your money matters.

Representing You 

We will speak for every one of you, learning what it is you need then empowering you and your student leadership team to deliver it.

Our independent member research showed that a large number of our members don't consider themselves to be 'Typical Students'. We get that, Greenwich has commuting students, students with caring responsibilities, disabled students, diverse sexual orientation, age, ethnicity and gender. We are proud of our diversity. The research also showed us that our representation on your behalf is a service not as widely known of as it should be. There are so many challenges to achieving success at university.
We want to be sure that the challenges are overcome and that students and their needs are at the heart of decision and change making at the University. Our staff and trustees all agreed and wanted to ensure that time and effort would go into learning as much about who our members are and what they need as possible.

Cheering students
Your Health and Wellbeing 

You know you need to take care of yourself at Uni and we can help, with advice services, healthy food & drink options and by making it easier to keep fit with our sports clubs and activities and have fun in our societies.

Being a student is a whole lot of fun, but we know it's important to you to have a steady study/social life balance*. In support of this Mind UK state that mental well being is currently the biggest challenge facing students, leading to resitting exams and even dropping out. Further consultation with students and staff has given us a number of ways of ensuring that the SU continues to design its activities, services, campaigns and student spaces that provide a platform for our members happiness. We believe that healthy bodies lead to healthy minds and this is all the impetus we need to keep up our investment in competitive and participatory sport.

Your Community 

We will continue to develop safe spaces that support you in having fun, working comfortably, getting help and making change.

The main reason given by those of you that have considered leaving university is a feeling of not belonging*. Add this to the desire for a balanced study/social life and it becomes clear that we should be aiming to create a positive community, in which you can work, have fun, relax and make change. We believe that developing a strong community should be the foundation of everything we do here.

Annual Members Meeting
Student with megaphone
Giving You a Wider Influence 

We will work with you to ensure that your voice is heard on the local, London and National stage, putting your SU at the heart of the student movement.
That’s it, simple as. What that will look like is a little more complicated but we’ve broken it down into 8 areas. This gives you an idea of how we’ll reach our goals.

Demanding quality from the university might be the unifying factor for all our members at Greenwich but that does not mean your time here is only influenced by the University. What happens locally, in London and on the National stage has longer broader impacts on student life. Fees, costs of living, teaching quality and the potential marketisation of your degree are all wider issues that you need to have a voice in. Our ability to represent you and influence the university goes beyond Greenwich campuses. This is the background that has informed our activities under this outcome.

Student at Welcome
Students with Varsity trophy after winning
Your Local Community 

Students are the life blood of Greenwich, Avery Hill and Medway campuses, we will ensure that this is celebrated through a healthy, productive partnership with the local community.

Our power to develop a great student experience extends beyond our buildings, services and campuses. We have a responsibility to reinforce the positive role students play in the local community. Developing productive partnerships with the local community leads to increased opportunities for you.

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Below is the step by step journey we took to ensure that every move we made in the Big Pan was informed, and met the needs of our members.

The buttons open documents for download and/or reading online.


First, we commissioned NUS Insight to produce a Strategic Planning Research Report, looking at our membership and services and aiming to provide recommendations on the creation of a new strategy.

Download the NUS Report


Guided by this report, we started a year-long programme of consultation with students, staff and Trustees, gathering opinions and formulating a framework to build our Big Plan on. You can see what this consultation led to in a presentation which maps the aspects of the NUS survey onto reaction and consultation with our staff to create two solid goals: Represent our members and help them effect change and Ensure our members had the best student experience.

Download the Consultation Presentation


So we had a direction, a series of aims that combined what we had done before, what was successful and what we could do better. It was time to look at how we could implement and measure the change we wanted to see. This is when we called Icarus, an evaluation company, who assessed the work we had done, interviewed the team and helped us both visualise and organise the strategy with a new 'Theory of Change' for our organisation.

Download the Theory of Change


We then had eight definable outcomes that we know we need to recognise to succeed in our goals. These outcomes were visions of the change we want to see and when you know the destination it becomes much easier to plan the route. From these outcomes, we planned our activities and from our activities, we planned our measures. Icarus gave us a way to plan our activities and then highlighted the multiple ways that we can measure our impact and gather feedback to further inform our strategy.

Download Icarus' Report


You can download, print and share our Big Plan documents by pressing the buttons below.

Download the Big Plan 2017-20  Download the Big Plan 2020/21


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