Student Centre Opens Today

Student CentreWe’re delighted to announce that the doors to your new Student Centre opens today.

SUBU will be hosting tours between 10am and 2pm, so head along to the Student Centre today to celebrate and explore your new building.

The Student Centre is a great new space for you to study, socialise and get involved with your Students’ Union. Facilities include:

  • High quality space for collaborative working
  • SUBU offices
  • A student advice centre
  • Two cafes
  • Radio and media studios
  • Bookable meeting rooms
  • Access points for student services.

You can also follow the Student Centre launch throughout the day via our Storify page and let us know what you think by emailing

The opening of the new Student Centre marks an important milestone in BU’s on-going investment in world class facilities, improving student experience and reducing our impact on the environment.

Bournemouth University Boat Club named NUS Sports Club of the Year

Bournemouth University Boat Club (BUBC) has been named Sports Club of the Year at the nationwide NUS Awards.

The awards, which this year received over 600 nominations, recognise and celebrate outstanding work from Students’ Unions across the country.

Judges awarded BUBC the Sports Club of the Year award for 2014 after being impressed by the club’s response to financial and resourcing problems and their work with local schools and colleges to open rowing to a wider demographic.

Clive Green, BUBC President for the past year, said: “Winning this prestigious award meant a lot to not only the committee but to all those associated.

“We are privileged to have such great support from all of our Alumni and family, and alongside SUBU’s guidance the club has a great network of people to share this award with.”

He added: “This award symbolizes the development the club has gone through this year and further potential BUBC has to achieve even more. We pride ourselves on our openness to memberships and can accommodate any level of athlete.”

Clive said that he believed multiple factors led to the club’s win – including their large membership, dedication to training and community and charity work.

“It’s not just our large squads training daily and performing well; it’s the charity work, training camps, university engagement and willingness to support our local community that makes BUBC a winning club,” he said.

“We raised over £400 for Help for Heroes by completing a rowathon, and we also went abroad to France for a training camp.

“In addition, BUBC help coach students at Winton Arts Media College, with some club members also coaching at Canford School.

“Again, all of these are organised and managed by the students.”

The team were nominated for the award by Emma Hiscutt, Activities Development Manager for the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU).

She said: “Even being recognised for a national award is an amazing achievement and so for BU Boat Club to win one is something that SUBU are very proud of.

“We have seen the club move from strength to strength and are constantly astounded at the efforts the club members put in. It’s a real pleasure to work with these students throughout the year and see them gain in confidence and witness their accomplishments.”

She added: “We are very proud of the Boat Club and can’t wait to see what they achieve next year and beyond.”

Find out more about BU Boat Club

Students who go above and beyond celebrated at awards ceremony

BU students who have completed the Student Development Award had their achievements celebrated during a dedicated awards ceremony.

The Student Development Award recognises the hard work and commitment shown by those who dedicate their time to extra-curricular activities alongside their course – such as volunteering, participating in clubs and societies and providing support to initiatives designed to enhance the student experience.

Over the course of one or two years, students create a portfolio of work to evidence and showcase the ways in which they go the extra mile, giving back and enhancing their employability.

This year, more than 80 students received their Student Development Awards from BU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney and Students’ Union (SUBU) president Murray Simpson at a red carpet event and awards ceremony.

Vice-President Communications for SUBU Annie Hall, who attended the event, said:   “It was fantastic to see students from every school and faculty of the university.

“A selection of comments from the portfolio assessors was shared on the screens as the students collected their awards. They remarked on students’ commitment, use of initiative, willingness to go above and beyond and much more.”

Individual prizes were also handed out to several students.

Elisa Reynolds, a second year Biological Anthropology student, won the Most Outstanding Achievement prize.

eliza reynolds

Alongside her course, Elisa is involved with a wide range of extra-curricular activities – which includes volunteering with charities and an international project in Ghana, acting as Student Rep for her course and as a Student Ambassador and Mentor.

She is also an active member of the BU Handball Team and Baking Society.

She said: “I signed up to do the Student Development Award because I thought it would be a good way to collate all my extra-curricular activities and it provides a basis to strive for.

“Initially, I used the portfolio mainly as a way to showcase the variety of things I get involved in as I can’t fit it all onto a C.V.

“Doing the award has definitely improved my confidence as it has made me realise that I do things for other people without even thinking, and has given me hope with regard to job searches, as they tend to look for that kind of thing. Doing all of the activities have provided friends for life too.”

She added that receiving the Outstanding Achievement Prize at the awards ceremony was a welcome surprise.

“I was genuinely shocked,” she said. “Simply being nominated was surprise enough!

“Upon hearing my name, I blushed significantly but walked down to receive my prize, understanding finally that perhaps I did deserve it. I was very proud of myself and felt ecstatic to be in a room full of applause for me.”

The other awards and prize-winners were:

  • Best Reflective Writing Prize – Olivia Tuckerman (School of Health & Social Care)
  • Dedication to Coaching & Mentoring Prize – Christopher Hodge (Business School)
  • Prize for Best e-portfolio – Amy Haase (Business School)
  • Prize for Creativity & Enterprise – Glebs Kiselovs (Business School)

The BU Dorset Shrievalty Award was also awarded to students who have supported charity projects including Safewise and Streetwise in the community.

The High Sheriff of Dorset, who sponsors the Shrievalty Award, presented it to Aisha Chesshire (Faculty of Science & Technology), Joshua Freeland (Media School) and Preslava Ivanova (School of Tourism).

Find out more about the Student Development Award

Student volunteers collect 2.2 tonnes of food for local foodbanks


Bournemouth University students collected a giant 2.2 tonnes of food for local foodbanks in a one-day volunteering challenge.

The Big Feed saw 26 volunteers, including a team of builders from Wilmott Dixon, compete in teams at six local supermarkets to accumulate the most food donations for Bournemouth, Poole & Kinson Foodbanks.

The event, organised by the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU), encouraged students to contribute back to their local community, and provide extra resources for the area’s local foodbanks, which are experiencing a worrying rise in emergency demand.

With more donations still coming in, the total collection more than doubled the previous record of 1.5 tonnes, which was set at SUBU’s first Big Feed event in September 2013.

Kim Appleton, SUBU Volunteering Coordinator, said it was a testament to people’s generosity in the community.

“People’s donations have been incredible. We would have been happy matching our record, but to beat it so substantially is really a tribute to the tireless work of our volunteers and the generosity of the public.

“It’s going to be incredibly beneficial to the foodbanks, who are in constant need of supplies. None of us deserve to go hungry, but 1 in 5 mums regularly skip meals to feed their children, simply down to needing to pay bills or other expenses.

“This food will go a long way in supporting those in need of emergency supplies.”

The event concluded with a celebratory ceremony for all the volunteers in the evening with awards and prizes, including food hampers and event tickets for outstanding contributions.

BU pioneers pre-paid card to help bursary students manage finances


Bournemouth University (BU) students who receive bursary payments can now get their money on a pre-paid card, helping them better manage their finances and get cash back on purchases.

BU is the first university in England to introduce the Spree Student Cashback Cards, which allows users to only spend the total value of bursary payment pre-loaded onto the card – helping students avoid slipping into debt or expensive overdrafts.

They can also get up to 2 per cent cash back on purchases at well-known retailers, making their budget stretch even further.

Andrew Wright, Finance Operations Manager at BU, said: “We wanted to introduce a pre-paid card solution as research has shown that students want as much financial support as possible upfront.

“If you pay money to students in a cheque, some of that will be used up in their overdraft and bank charges. This is an opportunity to give them a new account where that doesn’t happen. You can’t get into debt with it.”

The scheme was launched last September, to distribute money allocated from the National Scholarship Programme (NSP), which has also been match-funded by the university.

So far, nearly 800 cards have been issued, with more than £362,000 given to students.

The chip and pin cards will last for the three or four years that a student is registered with the university, with payments made termly.

Students also have access to a web portal where they can check their balance and find out about special offers being held by retailers.

“Students can choose whether they want to have the cards, but the response so far has been very, very favourable,” said Andrew.

“The money is put onto the account within a couple of hours, and they like the fact that it is simple, they can get the cash back, and they don’t have to queue up or wait each term for their payment.”

“This is cutting-edge, innovative stuff, but it is all about the student experience.”

The Student Cashback Cards, provided by P&MM, can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard, but cannot be used for cash withdrawal, gambling or to pay for content on adult websites.

It is hoped that the cards will also be made available to scholarship students next year, and that payments will be made in nine monthly installments to further help students with budgeting.

The Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU) was involved in the process of procuring and introducing the cards.

SUBU President Murray Simpson said: “The pre-loaded cards not only mean students can access their bursaries quickly and easily, it also means next year they will be able to access their payments monthly rather than termly.

“With the majority of rent payments happening monthly this will hopefully make life easier for students in managing their budgets.”

Lock It or Lose It campaign launched


A new campaign launched by the students’ unions at Bournemouth University (BU) and Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) will encourage students to lock their homes and keep belongings secure.

The Lock It or Lose It campaign is supported by United Taxis and the Universities’ Safer Neighbourhood Team, and was launched by attaching 2,000 dye-cut padlocks on properties around Winton.

 Each padlock contained information on how to keep properties secure. United Taxis contributed to the event by sending out text messages, detailing similar information to students who ordered vehicles.

Murray Simpson, President of the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU) said: “Although we have seen a reduction in burglaries over the past year in Bournemouth, we are seeing more burglaries happen during the day and we think that burglars are targeting specific properties at specific times of the day.”

Serving as visual reminders, it is hoped the padlocks will reinforce the campaign’s message that residents need to ensure properties are kept securely locked at all times.

Both SUBU and the Student’s Union at AUB (AUBSU) have also worked hard to promote security information internally.

Ben Musitano, AUBSU Student Union President, added: “We have been trying to promote information around AUB through poster boards as well as much as we can. Hopefully our student body will understand that burglaries in this area are actually quite a big problem.”

The Lock It Or Lose It campaign will also release a video focused around burglary prevention and safety in the local community. Murray Simpson summarized the overall purpose of the campaign as trying to “instill a new culture where people are safe and secure.”

PC Andy Scarratt, of The Universities’ Safer Neighbourhood Team, advised students in particular to work as a team to combat potential break-ins.

“If there are 5 of you in the house, get to know if you are the last one leaving and what time people going to be back”, he said.

“The danger is that students just forget about it.”

He also believes that the work conducted by SUBU and AUBSU to launch new initiatives such as Lock It Or Lose It is key to ensuring students’ possessions are kept safe, adding that it is important “to remind students that this is a time of year when you need to come back from Christmas with your new Christmas presents – and to look after them.”

By Alex Geraghty, Second Year BA (Hons) Media and Communications Student  

Student-led project to impact mountain communities


A project to help and support communities living in mountainous regions across the world is to start at Bournemouth University.

The Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU) is partnering with AleeVee8 for the volunteering project that will see students work alongside the charity to promote its work and support the start of its project in Nepal.

A launch event took place at Bournemouth University, attended by AleeVee8 patron Tobias Ellwood MP, where students were invited to find out more about the charity and its plans for the future.

Chelsey Groves-Cooper, a final year student on the Communications and Media course at BU, brought the project to the university’s attention after completing an internship with AleeVee8. She is now one of two students heading up the project on behalf of SUBU and she is encouraging students to get involved.

Chelsey said, “I think people should get involved with aleeVee8 because it is a great cause, they will be helping others whether indirectly or directly, and ultimately they will have the chance to do some good. Students will get a lot out of this for themselves as people and as professionals, all the transferable skills and attributes gained can be put on their CV’s- making them more employable when leaving university.”

Chelsey continued by talking about what the project has done for her personally, “This experience has been so valuable to me. I have grown in confidence and have more faith in myself as an individual and as a professional. I have realised what my real passions and interests are and have gone through a huge learning curve. Ultimately, I feel this experience is so rewarding because I know that I am helping people in some way, even if it is in the long run. Coming from South Africa originally, I have seen poverty first hand and it’s sickening.”

For more information about the AleeVee8 project you can visit the SUBU website.

Student wardens to bridge gap with community in Winton


A new scheme will aim to bridge the gap between residents and the large student population in Winton.

The student community warden scheme has been set up by Bournemouth University and Bournemouth Borough Council to improve relations in the local community and ensure newcomers know essential information about living in the area.

Teams of student wardens will regularly visit roads with a large student population, knocking on doors to chat with both permanent residents and students.

They will give advice and guidance on everything from when to put bins out to dealing with noisy neighbours, and support students with moving into private housing for the first time.

David Stock, advice manager for the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU), is overseeing the scheme.

He said: “The aim is to try and bridge the gap between the students and the permanent residents and try to make each of the groups aware of the benefits that the others bring.

“It’s about signposting services in a lot of instances, making sure people have the right information and contact details.”

There are currently two pairs of student wardens – with one team covering Cardigan Road and the surrounding area, and the other focusing on the streets around Frederica Road.

James Wilde, a fourth year Business and Marketing student, is one of the wardens.

He said he wanted to get involved to help improve the image of students in the area.

“A lot of residents have a negative perception as soon as they hear students are going to be moving in, so I wanted to help change that,” he said.

“We’ve had a really positive response so far, a lot of residents have said they are really happy we are doing it.”

Two student wardens from the Arts University Bournemouth are also being recruited for the year-long pilot scheme.

Pat Oakley, chairman of Winton Community Forum, said the forum had helped work on a number of initiatives in the area, including the student community warden scheme.

“There can be a clash between lifestyles of students and those living here permanently – being at university is meant to be fun, but students can have fun and at the same time be considerate to their neighbours,” he said.

“Something like leaving the bin on the pavements is not a big deal in itself, but if you are a young mum pushing a double buggy along, it can cause issues.

“We’ve recognised that there is a problem, but we are all working in collaboration to help solve it.”

Councillor David Smith, cabinet member for planning and environment for Bournemouth Borough Council, said the wardens were there to help and listen to the concerns of all local residents.

He added: “The introduction of student wardens in roads with high concentrations of student houses is very encouraging.

“It presents the council and the universities with the chance to deliver the right messages to young people who have just moved into a residential area for the first time and help with the transition.

“Relationships with neighbours will be helped and any problems with management of the rented houses can also be reported through these enthusiastic individuals.”

The student community warden team can also be contacted through emailing and students and residents can report any concerns through the Winton Community Line on 01202 451491.

Student volunteers collect 1.5 tons of food for local foodbanks


Student volunteers from Bournemouth University collected 1.5 tons of food and hundreds of pounds for local foodbanks during a day-long charity event.

The Big Feed was organised by the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU) to collect much needed donations for foodbanks in the area.

Around 50 students split into teams and spent the day at seven supermarkets across Bournemouth and Poole, competing to collect the most food donations.

They managed to collect over 1.5 tons of food – including 324 cartons of UHT milk, a food staple particularly needed by foodbanks – along with more than £1,113 in cash donations.

Sandy Williams, coordinator of the community food bank in Kinson, said: “It’s amazing. They have done brilliantly and it means an awful lot.

“Our supplies were running so low that we couldn’t make up a single complete pack. We specifically asked for UHT milk as a priority so it is really exciting seeing all of the milk they’ve collected.”

Food banks in the Bournemouth and Poole area have seen a huge rise in demand this year, helping more than 2,000 people since January – a 36 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Mark Elling, events manager for the Trussell Trust charity which runs the foodbanks, said the students’ contribution would make a big difference.

“The food that’s been collected will make a massive difference to help people who are currently in crisis,” he said.

“The day has been absolutely brilliant – it has been extraordinary being out and about seeing students engaging with members of the public and customers being very generous.”

A celebratory ceremony was held in the evening, with prizes and awards for the students who took part.

The team of students who collected the most food won £100 in Waitrose vouchers, a food hamper and a night at BU nightclub The Old Fire Station.

Second year Multi-Media Journalism student Alys Penfold was part of a team who collected at the Alder Road Sainsbury’s supermarket in Poole.

“I was really surprised by how generous people were – we managed to fill four trollies and people were giving us two or three bags of food,” said Alys, 19, who lives in Winton.

“It was exciting to be part of something that was going on for the whole day and we had a laugh trying to think of creative ways to get people to donate.

“It makes you feel good because you know it is going towards something really important.”

To find out more about SUBU volunteering opportunities visit The Hub website.

BU’s new Student Centre given go–ahead


The centre will provide significant additional social learning space and will be a new home for SUBU (the Students’ Union at BU) and some student services.

SUBU President, Louise Bryant said: “This is fantastic news for all students who will come to study here. SUBU offers advice, representation, and a whole range of extracurricular activities for students including clubs and societies and volunteering. This new centre will not only make it easier for students to access all of these services but it will also provide them with more space to learn, study and socialise.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney, said: “Bournemouth University is committed to providing world-class facilities and this building will provide just that. Students expect modern, fit-for-purpose facilities that promote learning and generate a rich experience and this fantastic new building will meet their aspirations.”

The low-carbon building will include learning and leisure facilities, social learning spaces, radio and media studios, a student advice centre, meeting space, accessible open-plan areas for student-focused services and a café. A glazed walkway on the third floor will provide access to the library.