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The Civic University Network

The Civic University Network builds on the 2018 UPP Foundation Civic University Commission which challenged universities to re-shape their role and responsibility to their communities to realise their potential as drivers of a new civic agenda. Our vision for the Civic University Network is to help make this ambition a reality – supporting universities to develop and embed civic aspirations at an institutional level, as well as working with government and strategic partners to ensure that a university’s geographic role and responsibility is used more effectively as an agent to drive positive societal change.

Our Focus

The Network will work to support the growing Civic University movement by sharing best practice between participating universities, support those HEIs who are developing Civic University Agreements (a key recommendation of the UPP Commission), develop a peer review scheme so that universities increase their civic impact, and connect universities with other sectors which are prioritising issues around ‘place’ to level up the economy and society. The civic university network is funded by the UPP foundation, Department for Education, Carnegie UK Trust and Arts Council England.

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Our Ambition

The Civic University Commission challenged universities to re-shape their roles and responsibility’s to their communities to realise their potential as drivers of a new civic agenda. Our vision for the Civic University Network is to help make this ambition a reality – supporting universities to develop and embed civic aspirations at an institutional level, as well as working with government and strategic partners to ensure that a university’s geographic role and responsibility is used more effectively as an agent to drive positive societal change.

Current Context

The establishment of the network comes as we all grapple with the challenges of Covid-19, not only for our institutions, but also for our wider communities and localities. The unprecedented nature and scale of this will shape the civic agenda for the foreseeable future. The Network will be working with Universities UK, the NHS Confederation and other key sector bodies to develop a coordinated response to the challenges ahead and to support universities’ contribution to longer-term recovery from the impact of Covid-19.

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Good overview of scale of COVID-19 challenge facing university sector by @HatchRegeneris - part of wider important work from @civicuniversity in raising economic and social aspects of the sector and its civic role. #trulycivic #NHSanchors https://wonkhe.com/blogs/the-country-really-cant-afford-for-universities-to-contract/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Wonkhe%20Mondays%20-%20Summer%20update%20-%203%20August&utm_content=Wonkhe%20Mondays%20-%20Summer%20update%20-%203%20August+CID_bc6a8802c6c1f125471f298a7fa3347c&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=the%20potentially%20devastating%20economic%20impact%20that%20would%20arise%20from%20the%20higher%20education%20sector%20getting%20smaller

LAUNCHED TODAY: @UniofNottingham @TrentUni together with City and County partners have launched the Universities for Nottingham Civic Agreement - the first of its kind in the country. A great example of best practice for civic engagement. #UnisForNottingham #TrulyCivic

As our 2nd webinar closes there's lots to think about how we can utilise the Network's potential to collaboratively tackle the impact of Covid-19.

Thanks to all who joined, our facilitators and our speakers @Pippa_Carnegie @Richard_Harries @SJPickup and Jane Tarr @ace_national

Some common themes emerging across all of our speakers this morning: Partnerships, Kindness, Sensitivity.

@Richard_Harries "when everything else stops, community carries on" #trulycivic

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Civic University: A snapshot

This infographic has been created as a handy one page document summarising the network, those involved and the aims and objectives.

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Design by Nifty Fox Creative, 2020

Regular Events

We are planning a regular series of webinars and workshops, each of which will have a different theme.

The date for the next webinar is as follows:

30 September, 10:00 – 12:00 Theme: Economic recovery

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Latest Events

The impact of Covid-19 on Civic Engagement

Our second Civic Network took place on 17 July with a focus on the impact of Covid-19 on Civic Engagement from the perspective of three sectors, each represented by our fantastic guest speakers: Arts

New Research Agenda launched

The Institute for Community Studies has launched 'Safety in Numbers', a research agenda with communities for communities, which asked over 3,000 people across the UK about what matters to their communities through a process

Guardian Labs articles published

Sheffield Hallam University feature in a series of Guardian Labs articles themed around the civic university. These can be read here https://www.theguardian.com/the-civic-university