Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA)

15 November 2022

Everything Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA) does is designed to improve the lives of University of Dundee Students.  DUSA has been supporting students for over 50 years through the offer of approximately 240 different societies, as well as advising and supporting on a range of topics including housing support and assistance with academic appeals.

In addition to the support that DUSA offers students they also offer a range of facilities aimed at enhancing the student experience as well as generating income that can be reinvested into supporting the student population.  DUSA has several food and beverage and retail offerings, this includes a Premier store on campus as well as 3 café and drink outlets, and nightclubs. DUSA also run a range of events to promote movements such as Black History Month and Pride.

DUSA became a Living Wage accredited employer in October 2020. They employ many students to help with the running of the organisation and receiving a real Living Wage allows them to continue their studies while earning enough to live on.

DUSA recently launched a 5-year strategic plan and has also changed the organisation’s culture around the core values of creating a greener, kinder and more diverse student population.

The Process

DUSA decided to become an accredited Living Wage employer as they wanted to ensure that all staff received a fair rate of pay as well as ensuring that there was consistency across the organisation.

They currently employ approximately 200 students throughout the course of the year and paying minimum wage meant that there was a range of pay rates. Implementing the Living Wage, means that students are paid well for the work they do, which allows them to concentrate on their academic studies without financial worries.

DUSA found the process of gaining accreditation to be very straightforward and completed the application form and subsequent interview without any complications,

The Benefits

Approximately 50% of DUSA’s staff come under the umbrella of hospitality. The hospitality sector has issues around recruitment and retention but since introducing the Living Wage, DUSA can attract high quality staff as well as retain skilled staff members. DUSA has also found that by paying the Living Wage, staff morale has increased as they feel valued by the organisation.