After another successful Advisory Group meeting, progress is being made in developing our Civic University Agreement and we want to update you on some key areas.
Supporting industrial towns
A recent report from UPP called on Universities to look beyond their immediate localities to outlying towns that were being significantly impacted by the pandemic. For us in Bath, Trowbridge was highlighted as one of these post-industrial towns likely to be heavily affected by Covid - the town is expected to experience around 13,000 job losses, which equates to around 33% of the employed population.
We asked the Advisory Group whether we should explore what the University could potentially do to support organisations in Trowbridge to address some of the challenges being faced as a result of the Covid crisis. The unanimous response was that the Advisory Group encouraged this step. As a result, we are now engaging with the town council and other bodies in Trowbridge, and will carry out listening exercises to determine if there are ways in which we can support recovery in the area.
Developing staff civic work
We outlined to the Advisory Group the details of existing HR policies allowing staff to undertake civic actions and the current limitations of these. We illustrated the benefits that could be gained from properly equipping staff to undertake these activities. The Advisory Group unanimously agreed that we could draft and take to University Executive Board a proposal to develop a pilot scheme broadening the scope of civic activities covered through HR policies, and the support available to staff wanting to undertake them.
Partnering with others
We are progressing towards partnering with other anchor organisations across the region as we develop our position ahead of writing our Civic University Agreement. At our latest Advisory Group meeting we presented a list of potential organisations and members input their thoughts on which should be partners in the agreement, and which should be stakeholders. We will soon begin to invite potential partners to join our agreement process.
In addition to the points above, the following activities have also been delivered:
- We have audited local media coverage to give us a baseline on which we hope to develop in future years.
- We have been working with the International Office to feed learning from the Stellenbosh Town and Gown civic engagement network through to our local actions.
- Senate has approved our proposal to include a civic category in the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards for 2021.
- The Our Shared Future collaboration with B&NES is progressing, with three new research projects funded and a steering group being set up.
We will continue to provide updates here on our blog about our work to develop a Civic University Agreement here in Bath, and on the broader sector advancements in civic and local engagement, so do subscribe so you don’t miss out!