A ‘major report’ authored by the Civic University Commission and chaired by Lord Kerslake has recognised the impact of the University of Manchester in the city and surrounding areas.
Three areas of Manchester’s work were highlighted in the report: supporting local communities, helping heritage projects, and enabling the city to be age-friendly.
The report, published on 12th February, examined the relationships between universities, and the cities and communities they are located in. It concludes a year of research into the link between universities and communities.
The study describes how universities can improve their impact on their local communities, and features several recommendations and examples of successful schemes and initiatives currently being run by universities.
The Works, The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, and the University’s collaboration with Quarry Bank were the three projects highlighted as being ‘particularly good’.
The Works is an initiative which aims to help Mancunians find employment opportunities by providing support and training in career paths, such as catering and construction. Since its establishment in 2011, The Works has helped nearly 4,000 people to find jobs. It is particularly beneficial to those living in the surrounding areas of the university, which often face high levels of unemployment.
The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub is a project which aims to allow residents of Greater Manchester to live, work, and retire in the region whilst enjoying a great quality of life. The University’s Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) was one of the founding members of the scheme.
The Hub benefits from input fed back by volunteers, as well as from academic partners. It is operated under the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.
The collaboration between the University and the National Trust at Quarry Bank Mill was listed as an exemplar cultural project in the report.
The research of University of Manchester’s Professor Hannah Barker, Director of John Rylands Research Institute and Historical Advisor for the National Trust at Quarry Bank, has helped to illustrate a broader and more accurate history of the mill, particularly regarding the children who worked there.
The University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, spoke about Manchester featuring in the report: “The University has a very close relationship with the people and institutions here in Greater Manchester, so I’m glad that this report highlights some of the activities we undertake with our community.”
“We have a historic role as a civic university and as a global university, which is very important to us as a modern institution, so we will be studying the findings closely and working with our local partners to see what lessons we can learn for the future.”