Outline Strategic Plan
Strategic Plan 2008-2011
Outline Strategic Plan
3.0 Mission and Vision
4.0 Strategic Enablers
5.0 Strategic Themes
6.0 Process and Timescale
1.1 Following the August meeting of the UMSA Strategy Group it was agreed that UMSA would
have a strategic plan in place to cover the following three years (2008-2011).
1.2 It was agreed that the first part of this process would be to consult with members of the
partnership and other stakeholders as to the future direction of the Association. From these
discussions a list of enablers and themes would be presented to the Strategy Group and will
form the driving force of the strategic plan.
2.1 The list of enablers and themes presented contains the key drivers that have come out of the
discussions with stakeholders. Some of these drivers and aims are conflicting and will require
2.2 Each enabler and theme has been given a ‘slot’ between now and the end of the academic
year for these discussions to take place. Relevant stakeholders will work together in shaping a
more detailed plan in this area, with each document being presented back to the group for
3. Mission and Vision
3.1 Our Mission and Vision statements were approved by the Strategy Group during the 2006/07
session. The strategic plan 2008-2011 will fill the gap between the mission and vision and our
target based, balanced scorecard system.
UMSA is recognised as a model of best practice in providing representation, activities and services
to students of multiple institutions and surpasses the expectations of its members and stakeholders
by contributing to a vibrant and fulfilling student experience.
The Association is integral to the Universities at Medway project in representing the needs and
views of its members whilst providing excellent activities and services. The Association achieves its
Outline Strategic Plan
goals by unifying the students of the Universities of Kent, Greenwich, Canterbury Christ Church and
Mid Kent College.
4. Strategic Enablers
4.1 Governance and Management – The Association must ensure that it is seen to be governed
openly and managed responsibly to ensure internal stability and confidence from our
funding partners. The Association must develop its reporting structures to its university and
union partners and ensure that both consultation and approval is sought within a formal
framework. The Association should also put in place a stronger management structure that
reflects the growth of the activities and services and ensures that continuity and stability are
foundations of the delivery of these functions. The Association must review its existing
reliance on a small number of individuals in managing its activities and services and put a
plan in place to strengthen these weaknesses.
4.2 Stakeholders – The Association has a large and complex set of stakeholders and the strength
of these relationships is essential to the Association’s development. The Association must
ensure that its activities and services reflect the diverse needs of its partners through a
process of continual and meaningful consultation and leave no room for perceived or actual
partiality. The Association should also play a role in uniting the partners towards common
goals and be used as a positive agent for collaborative working. In addition to this, the
Association must develop relationships with external stakeholders and ensure that the
Association is used, and seen to be used, as the mechanism for students to have a dialogue
with the local community.
4.3 Staff – The Association must ensure that it is able to attract and maintain high quality,
talented people to work for it. The Association must ensure that it is able to offer a fresh and
motivating working environment and be active in developing its staff through continual
personal development and opportunities to progress within the Association. The Association
must also ensure that communication with its staff is progressive and that it measures staff
satisfaction and informs decision making and planning. The Association must develop a
training and development plan for its staff across all areas, and work towards accreditation
with Investors in People (IIP) by August 2008.
5. Strategic Themes
5.1 Credible and Effective Representation – The Association must ensure that its role in
representing students is one of its core functions and that it is developed and integrated
within University and Union structures. The Association must also ensure that it plays a role as
both the voice of Medway based students from the partner institutions, as well as students of
specific institutions. To achieve this, the Association should work with its partners to agree a
plan for each union to have a sabbatical officer with an explicit portfolio responsibility for
Medway. The Association should also work towards obtaining funding to support its role in
representing students and managing the complex web of representative structures.
5.2 Diverse Student Activities – The Association must ensure that its student activities are
tailored and aimed at the diverse range of students that we serve at the four institutions. The
Association offers a rapidly expanding mix of sports, societies and media, but is largely used
by 18-21 year old British students. However, it should be acknowledged that these activities
are viewed by the universities as essential to the ‘student experience’ offer of the campus.
The Association must specifically develop activities aimed at the high numbers of non-EU
Outline Strategic Plan
students, mature students and those not living in student-only accommodation. The
Association must work with its partners to develop a new programme of activities that is
flexible for students to engage in, supported by the partner universities and attractive to a
broader range of students. Activities like the ‘Universities at Medway boat race’ support this
broader appeal as we have been targeting novices to get involved.
5.3 Competitive Commercial Services – The Association has been operating two bars and a
convenience store for fourteen months with a reasonable amount of success. In the past
fourteen months the Association has invested £66k in improvements and revenues have
increased in all areas. However, much more investment is needed in these facilities over the
next three years to ensure they have a long term benefit to the Association. The Association
should focus its efforts in developing these services, whilst acknowledging that the
universities view these facilities as essential to the ‘student experience’ offer of the campus.
The Association should also review how these services are managed to ensure that customer
focus is the driver behind continual improvement and year-on-year increases in revenues.
5.4 Social, Ethical and Environmental Responsibility – The Association recognises that it
needs to asses and minimise its environmental impacts whilst leading on social and ethical
issues. The three founding students’ union have a strong campaigning history in these areas
and the Association needs to meet their expectation in terms of its operation. The
Association recognises that there is much that it can do to improve its practices in each of
these areas and recognises that the community, the Universities and the Association’s
members expect UMSA to be a leader in society on these issues. We will assess our ethical
and environmental impacts via NUSSL’s Sound Impact Awards and commit to achieving
year-on-year improvements in performance for the life of this plan. In addition, we will takes
steps to raise awareness to our members of social, ethical and environmental issues and
report on our activities via our annual reporting process.
6. Process and Timescale
6.1 The process of developing the strategic plan will fit within the remaining meetings of the
strategy group for this academic year. However, we need to engage a wide group of people
through different means to ensure that we fully consult with all stakeholders. Therefore, the
process must include focus groups, market research, open consultation meetings, society
and sports club meetings, discussion within the representative forums of each partner union,
use of the student newspaper, Pulp, and consultation with staff of the universities.
6.2 The final plan should be approved by the final meeting of the strategy group in June 2008.
Members of the strategy group will be assigned to relevant enablers and themes and work
with the Director of UMSA in developing the enablers and themes for approval at the
following Strategy Group meeting. Attached below is the meetings planner for the
remainder of the year.
Updated Outline Plan
Draft Paper of enabler 1 – Governance and Management
Draft Paper of theme 4 – Social, Ethical and Environmental Responsibility
Outline Strategic Plan
Draft Paper of enabler 2 - Stakeholders
Draft paper of theme 1 – Credible and Effective Representation
Draft paper of enabler 3 - Staff
Draft paper of theme 2 – Diverse Student Activities
Draft paper of theme 3 - Competitive Commercial Services
Final approval of full strategic plan document 2008-2011