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Our Commitment To Civic Engagement

Brunel University London has always taken seriously its commitment to engaging with the public; indeed it is enshrined in our Royal Charter.

There is no denying that our direct impact as an employer and buyer of services is significant in its own right, contributing over £750m to the UK economy, but what is less often understood is the contribution Brunel makes to social and cultural activities and the wellbeing of society. Whether we are inspiring local children to aspire to University; bringing innovative solutions to society’s challenges through applied research or contributing to civic society through volunteering our time and expertise; Brunel is at the heart of the civic.

Brunel University London has reaffirmed its commitment to the people and organisations in its local community by pledging to put the economy and their quality of life top of its list of priorities. (Read full article here)

Brunel joins over 50 other institutions in committing to produce a ‘Civic University Agreement’ in partnership with local government and other major institutions.

The new agreement is a key recommendation in a report published by the Civic University Commission, set up by the UPP Foundation and chaired by the former Head of the Civil Service, Lord Kerslake.

The report sets out how universities like Brunel have the capability, opportunity and responsibility to support the places where they are based to solve some of their most pressing and major problems.

These issues range from helping local business adapt to technological change, to boosting the health of local people, improving education for school pupils and adult learners, and training and developing new civic leaders in every field from politics to the arts.

The report aims to help these universities build on the excellent work that many of them are already carrying out in these areas, working alongside councils, employers, cultural institutions, schools and further education colleges. 

The Civic University Agreement signed by over 50 universities includes four key points:

  • Understanding local populations, and asking them what they want. Analysis of their place and people’s priorities are essential.
  • Understanding themselves and what they are able to offer.
  • Working with other local anchor institutions, businesses and community organisations to agree where the short, medium and long-term opportunities and problems lie for communities. Linking with local authorities and other local plans, such as the local industrial strategy is particularly important.
  • A clear set of priorities. A process of agreeing clear priorities will therefore be necessary and, again, this is where collaboration and aligning resources with local authorities, LEPs (Local Economic Partnerships), NHS bodies and the like can help to identify the live issues that universities can most usefully help with.

Read about some of our latest initiatives here.