Civic University Commission report

11 February 2019

Commenting on the launch of the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission’s final report, Russell Group Chief Executive Dr Tim Bradshaw said:

“The Civic Universities Commission should be commended for interrogating such an important and timely issue. Since the project launched and the “travelling select committee” set about its tour, an energetic debate has emerged about the civic contribution of universities, which I hope will extend long beyond the publication of the report. Indeed, a number of Russell Group universities have already signed up to delivering the Commission’s recommendation for Civic University Agreements.

“The Commission rightly highlights the excellent work many universities are doing across the country to support their communities. It is right, too, to challenge us to think ever more strategically about these efforts: they are central to the overall health of the UK’s economy and society and will become even more important as our country navigates the uncertainties of Brexit and beyond. In a world where governments and policymakers must think both globally and locally, universities are an important bridge, whether by ensuring that their world-class research benefits the people around them, by linking local SMEs with our international collaboration partners or by helping international students make our cities and towns their home. Universities can be both global and civic simultaneously; they occupy a special place in our national fabric and today’s report is a helpful reflection on how this can be strengthened.

“The report rightly notes that we await the Prime Minister’s review of university funding and that future cuts would inevitably lead to institutions having to sacrifice some of their important work. Where the recommendations call for additional funds, this should be new money rather than carved from existing budgets, which are already stretched and potentially under threat.”

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