Dundee University Students Association (DUSA) today launched their ambitious five-year strategic plan that will see the organisation that represents 18,000 students at Dundee University become kinder, greener and more diverse.

Throughout history DUSA has always been a home away from home for the thousands of students studying at Dundee University with a wealth of activities, societies, help and support on offer. The organisation is now at a pivotal time about to embark on a new plan that will transform the lives of current and future students.

DUSA is changing to meet the needs of the diverse 18,000 strong student population that we represent.

Throughout the consultation process we were keen that as many students as possible got to have their say, to reflect on what we have done in the past and to be given space to really think about what they wanted us to do next.

We have looked at the feedback and insights we already hold from students. For example, each year final year marketing students undertake a range of projects to provide insights and recommendations to DUSA. These were invaluable in helping determine our ambitious strategic plan.

It was vitally important that the students drove this work to raise our ambition and vision for the future. The Future Leaders Forum, a group comprising students from across the University, and our Board of Trustees, played a key role in helping us to make sense of what we were learning.

We also listened to our staff and volunteers – the people who have direct experience of working with students and many are students themselves. These are the people who will drive change and implement our vision and plan on a day-to-day basis.

We have learned a lot during the pandemic. Student attitudes and behaviours are changing and we are still learning about what that means for our members, DUSA and our future.

Cheryl-Ann Cruickshank

CEO, DUSA

Given that one is six of the population of Dundee is a student, we took the opportunity to also ask external people from the University and Dundee to think about DUSA’s purpose, why it exists and to give us some feedback.

We received an amazing amount of feedback about what we are doing well and where people wanted to see changes. There are some fantastic ideas of different things we could do in the future and things that we did in the past that people have fond memories of.

Our aim is to become as relevant and representative of our membership as possible. There will be things that we continue to do, things we will stop doing, things we will change and things we will add over the next five years.

It’s such an exciting time to be part of DUSA and we want all our members to be actively involved in creating and shaping our future. The weeks, months and years ahead will see us bringing our plans to life.

Defining our work, setting targets, adjusting team priorities, tweaking how we spend our time, getting on the same page, are all things we are addressing now as we embark on our mission for the next five years.

There will be continued conversations, engagement opportunities, and especially the telling of stories about how we’re bringing this plan to life and how we experience it in our daily work. We will also continue with our student surveys, forums, and feedback opportunities. Importantly, we will revisit the plan on an ongoing basis to ensure that collectively we’re on track and moving every goal forward. Owning this plan and thinking deeply about how we can advance our goals through our work is everyone’s responsibility. For all of us this is a remarkable opportunity to be part of creating the future of DUSA and to take measurable steps to achieving our vision of a kinder, greener, diverse global student community, creating lasting impact for generations to come.

Dimitris Vidakis

President, DUSA

The launch of DUSA’s new strategic plan was marked with a showcase lunch attended by students, staff, local business leaders, charitable partners and Councillors.

NOTE TO EDITORS

For further information or to request a photo / interview opportunity please contact Sarah Craig, Marketing and Communications Manager at scraig@dusa.co.uk