Mike Day is a former senior manager at the National Union of Students (NUS) and now an international student experience consultant and student movement historian. A leading expert in his field, Mike has published widely on matters related to student engagement and student organisations and is currently responsible for the NUS archives.


After graduating in 1980 Mike worked at NUS for over 10 years, as a Development Officer and subsequently Training Officer where he was jointly responsible for the research, development, delivery, and evaluation of NUS’s training programmes. In 1994 he moved to Strathclyde University where he served as Membership Services Manager, providing strategic leadership and support for democratic services, academic representation, welfare and advice, childcare, clubs, societies and sports, administration, communications, and marketing.


He left the student movement, temporarily, to work for Barnardo's Scotland where he developed an accredited in-house Management Programme at SVQ levels 3, 4 and 5. He also worked with the Retail Section to deliver training and development for shop managers and staff as they developed specialist shops for antiques, retro clothing, books and records.

In 2007 he took up the post of Director of NUS Scotland and built a team that supported the Executive in their aim of abolishing tuition fees, creating third party arbitration for housing deposits and a sabbatical infrastructure in all FE colleges. In 2012 he took on responsibility for Wales and Northern Ireland as well and oversaw the creation of the Trilateral agreement with USI, NUS-USI and NUSUK. In 2014 NUS' international relations were added to the brief and he developed NUSUK's international strategy that ran to 2022. Following a restructure, he took on NUS-USI, international work and added responsibility for supporting the international students’ officer.

Since leaving NUSUK he has maintained working links with the European Students' Union, Union of Students in Ireland and NUSUK.


Mike’s lecture will explore the origin of student organisations in European universities and explain the role of student volunteering in creating the infrastructure of the student movement in the UK and internationally. Mike will also outline the role of religious groups in promoting service within students’ unions and reflect on the impact of global conflicts and injustice on student volunteer groups. The lecture will evaluate the impact of changing perceptions of students over the last century on the role of volunteer activity as well as the impact of increased professionalisation of students’ unions on volunteer endeavour. Mike will conclude by offering a perspective on the contribution that volunteering can to contemporary imperatives in HE such as retention and belonging.


The lecture will therefore be of interest to any students or colleagues with an interest in volunteering and civic engagement, retention and belonging initiatives in higher education and anyone interested to discover more about an important but little discussed understood strand of social history.