The Institute for Community Studies (ICS) is proud to be announced as a strategic partner in the UK’s Civic University Network, supported by UPP Foundation, DfE, Carnegie Trust UK and The Arts Council. Through partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), we are clearly showing our shared commitment to cross-sector working with communities across the UK.
The first priority of the Civic University Network will be to develop and support an impactful sector response to the Covid-19 crisis. First and foremost, this will involve consulting with universities, the civil society sector and community organisations to build a robust framework for an immediate and longer term civic response, as well as issuing clear guidance and best practice case studies to all universities. This will help universities initiate activities to support their local communities overcome the immediate and long-term intersectional and place-based challenges which will result from the social and economic changes brought by Covid-19.
The Civic University Network was one of the key recommendations from the UPP Foundation’s Civic University Commission. Beyond coordinating a sector response to Covid-19, the Network will support universities which have committed to developing a Civic University Agreement through the sharing of best practice and through co-produced, deeper engagement with their local communities.
The Young Foundation with the Institute of Community Studies (ICS), brings deep expertise in community engagement as well as their extensive, national civil society networks. The ICS will join the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement as one of two strategic partners to the network. The role of the Young Foundation and the ICS will be cross-cutting across all work streams but particularly add value to understanding and priority-setting the needs of HEIs and multi-sector community partners, drawing from the ICS Research Agenda for Communities. Through our unique ICS approach, we will be able to support capacity building inside and outside the HE sector, expand our collective understanding of civic engagement methods and work towards ensuring the long term sustainability of the network well into the coming years.
There are few that can match the Institute for Community Studies in terms of its intellectual heritage, and in its re-imagined form, we are committed to fully maximising the sector’s potential to support local communities; particularly at such an unprecedented and challenging time.