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University of Chichester signs historic Civic University Agreement

University of Chichester signs Civic University Agreement after helping tackle the pressing and major issues affecting south coast


THE University of Chichester has signed a Civic University Agreement to emphasise its commitment to serve the educational, economic and societal interests of local communities and West Sussex.

The Civic University Agreement is a key recommendation in a report published by the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission. The report sets out how universities have the capability, opportunity and responsibility to support the places where they are based to solve some of their most pressing and major issues.

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. It aims to help 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.

Professor Jane Longmore, University Vice-Chancellor and signatory of its Civic University Agreement, said: “The introduction of Civic University Agreements is to be welcomed. Universities are about more than providing first-class education and preparing students for their futures (although this is, of course, a vital part of what we do).

"Universities sit within their local communities and make huge contributions to them – from providing employment and opportunity to driving enterprise and the local economy, contributing to better health, offering support to community groups and enriching culture and regional character. We are delighted to have our own Civic University Agreement in place, which will underpin how we partner with and support the area we call home.” 

The Civic University Agreement underpins a wealth of activity and partnership carried out by the University in support of communities not just in Chichester and Bognor Regis (homes to its two campuses), but also across West Sussex.

The Civic University Agreement is a key recommendation in a report published by the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission

The new Tech Park, with its focus on engineering and design, and creative and digital technologies (including film-making and animation), is a vital part of a wider initiative to provide training opportunities for local people – upskilling them so that they in turn can make positive contributions to the regional economy.

The introduction of degree apprenticeships offers an alternative route to education and career development. Many local businesses engage with the University of Chichester to place employees on degree apprenticeship programmes, ranging from tourism and tech businesses to well-known names such as Rolls Royce Motors.

In the wider community, the University of Chichester has provided a wide range of support including:

  • An innovative partnership between the University and local charity Dementia Support, which has seen the arts used to support service users at the charity’s Sage House
  • Close collaboration with local homeless charity Stonepillow, which supports those who are homeless and vulnerable. The collaboration includes access to higher education for Stonepillow service users and fundraising
  • Support for Nations United, one of the UK’s first all-refugee football teams

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