University of York Students' Union (YUSU)

Reward & Recognition

At YUSU, we really value the hard work students do to ensure that the student voice is heard, and we are always looking for new ways to ensure that we recognise and reward these efforts.

Please note that nominations for the pilot run of the Badge Scheme will open in Week 5, at which point the forms will be made live.



Click here to nominate yourself or a peer!


Open Badges

Open Badges are digital, visual representations of achievement that have been popularised over the last few years. Companies, Universities, Voluntary Organisations and Professional Bodies are all using badges to recognise their staffs’, volunteers’, and participants’ achievements, which can range from recognising the development of core competencies to acknowledging the completion of development modules. The Badges that individuals receive operate as a form of online certification; they can be used in a variety of ways, and are useful for employers in identifying prospective employee’s strengths and abilities. For more information about Open Badges and the benefits they can offer, please click here.

Departmental and Faculty Reps are eligible for 5 badges that recognise the various skills and competencies they have had to demonstrate in their role as an Academic Rep. They are awarded termly and can be used as evidence in York Award Applications. For more information about the criteria click on an Award below:


If a Rep gets all 5 badges, they are eligible for an additional award, the Student Voice Award, to evidence that they have outstanding competencies in all of the areas above.

Committees Award

As an Academic Rep this student has been responsible for attending relevant committee meetings to represent the views of their cohorts. This badge has been awarded to recognises the student’s abilities to manage their time effectively, complete various operational tasks, and deal with challenges the committee faced. In doing so, the student has contributed to the effective running of the committee.


  • Attended and engaged with all the committees they sit on, showing that they have managed their time well between role responsibilities and their studies.
  • Evidence of how they raised issues in these committees and voiced their thoughts student matters.
  • Developed their committee membership skills by promptly following up on all actions assigned to them, submitting a paper as a main agenda item and joining in with group discussions.
  • Testimonials from committee Chairs to demonstrate their professional attitude and behavior in meetings.
  • Examples of how they communicated with other students to let them know the outcomes of the meeting. 
  • Reflection on any meetings they have chaired and any challenges they encountered (if applicable).


Communication Award

As an Academic Rep this student has been responsible for being an open communication channel between staff and students. This badge has been awarded for actively communicating with their cohort and successfully closing the feedback loop by updating students on the effect their feedback is having. In doing so, this student has demonstrated the ability to communicate with various stakeholders, through different mediums and has successfully fostered strong relationships.


  • Actively shared information and solicited feedback from students via a range of methods and has explained why they chose those specific communication routes.
  • Evidence of how this work has increased their visibility among their coursemates and contributed to forming a learning community.
  • Developed their public-speaking skills by doing a number of lecture shoutouts to their cohort.
  • Testimonials from staff with whom they have actively communicated to ensure the student voice is articulated.
  • Examples of how they modified their communications depending on the audience.


Problem Solving Award

As an Academic Rep this student has been responsible for making positive changes that impact on the student academic experience. This badge has been awarded for working with staff to negotiate solutions to problems which have been identified by students on their course, as well as successfully navigating the challenges the role of Academic Rep has presented them. In doing so, this student has demonstrated the ability to think creatively and the resilience to overcome obstacles.


  • Identified a problem which affected a number of students on their course.
  • Evidence of how they worked with staff to find and implement a solution which will improve the student experience.
  • Developed their problem-solving skills by evaluating the facts, considering different solutions and focusing on the most viable option.
  • A reflection of how they responded to the challenges they faced and what they might do differently next time.
  • Examples of how they communicated with other students to let them know about the positive changes that were implemented.


Representation Award

As an Academic Rep this student has been responsible for ensuring the student voice is heard by representing the collective views of their cohort. This badge has been awarded for effectively representing their student body in various forums and negotiating successful outcomes. In doing so, this student has demonstrated the ability to clearly articulate information, negotiate in a diplomatic and professional manner and quickly adapt to new environments.


  • Proactively gathered feedback from their cohort on a range of issues.
  • Evidence of how they communicated consolidated feedback to staff members to inform the enhancement of the student experience.
  • Developed their negotiation skills by clearly articulating the views of students in a neutral manner and agreeing a way forward with staff.
  • Testimonials from students to demonstrate the positive effect their work has had - particularly if this has encouraged students to engage further.
  • Examples of any outcomes which are a direct result of their representation efforts.


Teamwork Award

As an Academic Rep this student is part of the Academic Network at YUSU which is made up of over 450 students. This badge has been awarded for effective partnership working with other Academic Reps across this Network to ensure positive change is made for as many students as possible. In doing so, this student has helped to foster a collaborative, supportive working environment within the Network.


  • Worked with other Academic Reps to complete a project or remedy a problem.
  • Evidence of how the team worked together demonstrating awareness of different group roles and how their actions were part of a bigger picture.
  • Developed their team-working skills by identifying any issues or tensions and resolving them.
  • Testimonials from key stakeholders to demonstrate the positive effect their teamwork has had.
  • Examples of how they undertook different team roles when required to ensure that the goal was achieved.


For more information please contact