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What is Representation?

Student on a DemoThe Students Union exists to represent the rights and needs of students, from academic to social issues, we are here every step of the way through your University career. We are proud to be run by students, for students; and everything we do is student-centric. You can get involved in just about everything the union does, from the most simple tasks to running for a full time Sabbatical position which involves running the union.

Representation is at the heart of this, officers get involved at every level of the universities decision making processes to ensure that our voice is heard, and that the university is doing things in a way that benefits us, after all, a universities primary purpose is to educate its students.

Where We Represent You

The union has students representing you right now across everything you do at University, and probably even some stuff you’re not involved in. Below is a (non-exhaustive!) list of where we get involved

Academic Representation 

This is done through the Class Rep/School Officer System, as well as with the Sabbatical Officers.

National and Regional Representation

We are a member of NUS, and attend, participate in, and make a difference within this organisation at a national level. Students attend both the Scottish and National conferences to raise and vote on the issues NUS takes forward as well as electing who leads NUS. There has been a member from Heriot-Watt on the Scottish Executive Committee for NUS Scotland for the last 4 years.

We are a member of the fledgling Edinburgh Students Forum, where students from across Universities and Colleges in Edinburgh. Here we meet to discuss local and national issues, looking at them in finer detail to see how they affect us, studying and living in Edinburgh.


One way in which other issues are raised is through campaigning work - we have run COUNTLESS successful campaigns over the years, at Heriot-Watt and at a National level. In 2008 we won NUS award for campaign of the year for the feedback campaign we ran to ensure students had the right to feedback on their exams. For full details of these, see the (Campaigns) pages, which have full details of past, present and future campaigns.

So What Have We Actually Done?

The Union has run countless campaigns over the years - campaigning on everything from ResNet to Tuition Fees to study spaces, but we don’t campaign for everything. A lot of our success comes from working with the university; we try to ensure we are represented everywhere where decisions are made that effect students. This means that problems from things as simple as timetable problems to big university matters such as effective course feedback can be resolved before it’s a major issue, and before it impacts on people’s studies. This collaborative approach brings amazing results - but when it doesn’t work, we’re not afraid to campaign to get what we feel needs done!