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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.

Civic Insights

Civic Insights provide perspectives and ideas, written by leaders in education, government and beyond, who are interested in ways to harness the civic mission of universities for positive social change. They aim to provide unique insights and inform thinking, drawing on the direct experience of those navigating today’s civic policy challenges, opportunities and practices, in order to help shape the development and deployment of civic-focused strategies within HE institutions

The first in our Civic Insights series is from Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Student who discusses improving local prosperity and the big challenges facing HE in 2021

read more here

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. The thought piece prepared by Des McNulty and John Goddard is well worth a read. One of the activities of the network will be to facilitate discussions across universities on the issues raised in the paper

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Follow us

@nicstaffs talking about some excellent examples of university-community engagement at @StaffsUni - both in real world and virtual #trulycivic @civicuniversity

Workshop insight: Dan James from @edenproject providing really useful insights into how they took on their community engagement challenges, lots of parallels for universities to learn from.
Such an inspirational story, and Happy 20th Birthday to the Eden project 🥳 #trulycivic

Taking place next week "Designing Community Engagement: Who's agenda is it anyway?" Hosted by @icstudiesuk @NCCPE the workshop will provide practical tools and best practice principles on engaging communities in your Civic Mission. Places still available https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/designing-community-engagement-whos-agenda-is-it-anyway-tickets-138734387287

We have lots of Network events happening in the coming weeks 🥳 Our newsletter subscribers receive regular updates and booking links so never miss out on the action! 🎬You can see our latest event update here:
https://mailchi.mp/31ea16d859a8/civic-university-network-webinar-event-annoucements-7482305

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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

Upcoming Events

23 February Workshop: Designing Community Engagement: who’s agenda is it anyway?  To book a place click here

5 March Webinar :  School Trusts: A New form of civic structure. To book a place click here

9 March Workshop: Civic University Agreements: Evaluating Civic Activity. For more information and to book a place click here

24 March Workshop: The Civic Index. More details coming soon

18-20 May: The Civic University Network Conference 2021. More details coming soon

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