Insight & Policy

SUBU’s Insight and Policy department is fundamental in providing SUBU and BU with evidence-based research about the current and future issues that matter to students. The research is used to represent the student experience and inform policy development, both at BU and on a national level.


This department’s partnership work with BU’s Academic Quality team means that for the first time, students will be members of the panels that decide exactly how BU courses are designed, enhanced and run. We have recruited students for a pilot project where they will be full, paid members on BU’s Programme Approval/ Review Panels.


The department is also a core partner in BU’s Fair Access Research project (now in its third and final year), which has been used nationally as an example of good practice. Key outcomes will include a toolkit for other SUs and institutions to help develop their joint research work so that better, more tailored support is offered to students from non-traditional backgrounds.


Our work with SimOn data means that 10,029 (and counting) student opinions about academic and overall experience is represented at Faculty and institution level. SUBU is leading the way in student feedback collection and reporting, with two other institutions using SimOn and more in talks to adopt it. Future plans include benchmarking of the quality of the student experience across institutions.


Meet The Team!

Sophie Bradfield (Policy and Campaigns Development Co-ordinator) and Jane De Vekey (Insight and Policy Manager)

SUBU Debates

SUBU Debates provides students the opportunity to express their opinions and voice their thoughts in a safe space, with like minded people, and around various sensitive and topical issues. The SUBU Debate champions approve the debate topics and questions, but the ideas are submitted by students and members of clubs and societies who want to host a debate.


GOAT (Go Out And Talk) Team

GOAT stands for Go Out And Talk.  The GOAT team are a group of BU students who help SUBU by collecting students’ opinions about their experience here at BU, so that we can work with BU to make changes that benefit students.

What they do?

You might see the team around campus in their GOAT t-shirts – they’ll be asking students a couple of questions on a topic or issue that has come to SUBU’s attention, for example from a survey, or the student reps.

How do the GOAT team know what questions to ask?

SUBU already receives feedback from students, so we review it all to find out what’s currently important to them and ask questions about that.

I’m interested in being part of the GOAT team – what does it involve & how do I take part?

Each GOAT team member helps with collecting opinion for three days each term. To help you do this we offer an initial training session so you can meet the rest of the team and develop some specific face-to-face research skills.

If you’d like more in-depth training into market research and producing research reports, we’ll also be offering this to GOAT team members. (We’re doing this because it’s directly relevant to some degrees and careers and we like to offer more benefits to students where we can.)

Who do I speak to if I want to be part of the GOAT Team?

If you are interested in becoming a GOAT team member please get in touch with the team at

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