Why we belong

Greater Manchester is a community of more than 100,000 students from over 160 countries. Manchester is one of the leading student cities in Europe and the UK.


  • Over 60% of graduates who study in the Northwest stay in the area to work – 46% specifically in Manchester – providing businesses with a skilled and sustainable pool of graduate talent.
  • 5,000 students from The University of Manchester volunteer in the community each year, from working with the elderly to supporting the homeless to facilitating sport and arts-based activities.
  • The University of Manchester was ranked number 1 for social impact by the Higher Education Times - the Students Union have contributed by pushing The University to divest from fossil fuels.
  • The University of Manchester Students’ Union RAG raised £73,798.76 in fundraising during the 19/20 academic year.
  • The University of Manchester Students’ Union houses Student Action. This supports and empowers students to participate in and manage their own community projects that help to make a meaningful and beneficial contribution to people in our local community.

We belong aims

We Belong aims to advocate for students in all areas which impact students whilst studying or living in Greater Manchester

  • Integrating students into the community and helping them connect with Greater Manchester
  • Uniting the students voice in Greater Manchester
  • Increasing student representation in Greater Manchester
  • Increasing consultation with students on key decision that impact students' lives in Greater Manchester
  • Creating a space for Students’ Unions’ Exec Officers (Welfare and Community Execs) to work and advocate for students in the community

The Greater Manchester student’s community include:

University of Manchester Manchester Metropolitan University Salford University Bolton University Royal Northern College of Music Many other colleges and private institutions


Students Voice Students Transportation Students Housing Students Employment In Manchester Health And Safety Environment

Students’ Unions Community Prorities

  • Increase student consultation in key decision making that impacts students in Greater Manchester.
  • Recognition of Greater Manchester Students Assembly (GMSA) by Manchester City Council
  • Better transportation fares for students in Greater Manchester
  • Reduction in the cost of public transport for students in Greater Manchester
  • Affordable student housing with accessibility in Greater Manchester
  • Better flexible rent agreements for students in Greater Manchester
  • Support for students’ and graduates’ employment in Greater Manchester.
  • Support for medical and health students in placements
  • More streetlights in community neighbourhoods
  • Tackle crime against students
  • Support and tackle sexual harassments and assaults against students.
  • Improve student and police relationships.
  • Tackle climate change in Greater Manchester
  • Increase and improve green spaces by reducing litter.
  • Support sustainability activities and environmental advocacy

Making mental health support resources accessible to all

COVID 19 has resulted in more students struggling with their mental health which is already exasperated the issues of accessibility for student to receive support for their mental health. Furthermore, it has also limited the availability of face-to-face resources which has made help inaccessible for some. There needs to be an open discussion on campuses surrounding taboo subjects, and a focus on mental health services for the experiences that minority groups face.

Safety in and around Salford Campus

Affordable travel passes and discounts would allow for students to travel and commute safely travelling around Greater Manchester. Students should always also be able to feel safe when they are in and around Salford Campuses

Rent rates and accommodation

We want to make accommodation affordable for ALL students, this is inclusive of our international student body. There needs to be a removal of barriers and an increase in support for international students obtaining private accommodation

Have affordable prices on campus outlets and stores that represent the budget of students

Who is this for?

We are calling on students in Greater Manchester, community groups, universities, and students’ unions.


  • We hosted a Town Hall with Local Councillors
  • We collaborated with Bolton, MMU and Salford to stream a Mayoral hustings
  • We have worked with the University to achieve the University accommodation pledges. The University of Manchester also offered students free rent until they returned to campus. From October 2020, students could leave their accommodation licence without penalty. Many other Universities have followed our example to offer students different support packages.
  • We have worked with MMU SU and Manchester Students Homes to send out a letter to the local private accommodation providers, asking that they offer the same level of support to students in private accommodation. Many providers have responded with support for students.
  • We partnered with Invisible City Manchester to deliver tours of Manchester city centre during Welcome Week, introducing students to their local area.
  • We partnered with the CO-OP to offer students reduced delivery cost of £0.99.


What organisations say about UoM Students’ Community Engagement impact.

Get involved now!

We hope to achieve more through your involvement. Whether you’re a local provider or body who would like to show your support for students, or a student who would like to fight for the rights of the student community, please get in touch with us to get involved!

Contact us


We Belong is supported by the University of Manchester, the University of Manchester Students’ Union, MMU Students’ Union, Salford University, Greater Manchester Students Assembly (GMSA), Manchester Students Homes, The Manchester Student Partnership, Students Partnership Group and Students Safety Group.

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