We Are The University image with a picket line outside Queen's University Belfast

We Are The University

We are convinced that the solutions to the problems with the university and problems that the university is facing can be provided by asking staff students and other external stakeholders for their ideas, suggestions and proposals.

This crowdsourcing of ideas is unstructured and created by you. Unlike surveys where priorities are determined for you and where you are asked your views on them or to vote on them, we want this process to be as inclusive, transparent and as participatory as possible. Not simply because this is how these processes should be done, but also because we really do believe that great ideas and solutions can come from these open and transparent democratic processes.

We have outlined below a number of generic categories where were seeking your ideas suggestions. These generic domains are teaching, research, working life on campus comma and civic engagement and outreach. There’s also a fifth category of ‘other’ where you can include ideas that you think do not fit into those four categories.

As this crowdsourcing process develops if we find more people talking about the same issue, this then will also become a category that can be included for further input from people. You will also be able to see what others have said as a way of sparking ideas for you and encouraging as wide a discussion and deliberation between everybody in this process. It also enables people who contribute to this crowdsourcing exercise to see that whatever strategy documented we produce at the end accurately reflects what people have said.

We feel it is entirely appropriate that a publicly funded institution of higher learning and scholarship should engage in such an open and deliberative conversation with itself, its staff and students, as well as other people and organisations with whom the university interacts with and has or should have obligations towards. We hope you enjoy it and thank you for taking the time to do this.

Senior management are launching a new Strategy for Queen’s.

We think it is vital for Queen’s to involve its staff, students and local communities, in the co-creation of this strategy. We also want to avoid a replay of Vision 2020, which resulted in the loss of 20% of academics from Queen’s to other institutions. We were delighted to find that the VC and the Registrar are on the same page and want to work directly with us to make the next ten years better than the last.

Crowd-sourcing – radical participation!

Very soon we will launch from this page our online platform for crowd-sourcing: a virtual space for staff, students and members of the community to engage and contribute to what Queen’s could become in the next years by gathering a pool of ideas and proposals, which aim to reflect primarily staff’s and students’ concerns and priorities. We work, study and live here, we know our stuff, and very often we know what it would take to make it better, whether it is about teaching and learning, research, workload, work culture and so forth. Crowd-sourcing is a radical, democratic and far-reaching form of meaningful consultation and it needs your participation, so watch this space in the coming weeks!

We believe we have an opportunity to participate in Queen’s future orientation; we want to seize it, and we will work actively with senior managers to ensure that those ideas become part of the fabric of the new strategy.

Because, after all… ‘WE are the University’!

The working group’s consultation results (summary).

We interviewed around 30 stakeholders from sectors such as arts and community, political representatives, trade union activists, journalists, lawyers, students, future students, faith leaders, teachers and many more.

View the summary

We also launched a staff consultation and we encourage you to participate in this survey if you haven’t done so.

Take the survey

Our colleagues in the Students’ Union are also making plans to explore the future of the University with their important stakeholders.

We are very thankful for all those who took the time to have this discussion with us, contributing to what we thought was an inspiring and useful exercise in its capacity to guide the discussion with senior management and the Senate about how to make Queen’s a better place.

Véronique Altglas
John Barry
Léonie Hannan

QUB University and College Union