University Partnerships Programme (UPP) has announced the launch of the UPP Foundation, a charitable trust created to help tackle the biggest issues facing the higher education sector across the UK.
UPP intends to invest £2.5 million over the next five years into the new Foundation.
The new scheme will award grants to universities, charities and other higher education bodies, in order to support the sector in tackling issues within four strategic themes:
• Increase access and retention
• Improve student employability
• Enhance civic universities
• Develop global citizens
The UPP Foundation will also provide a public policy platform enabling sector leaders, experts and the wider public the opportunity to debate the future of higher education.
The UPP Foundation presents a fantastic opportunity to support the higher education sector, expand public debate and encourage collaboration and the sharing of best practice
One of the Foundation’s first actions will be to award a grant to the UK’s student mental health charity, Student Minds. In order to help create supportive environments for students, Student Minds delivers research-driven training and support. It also equips students and staff with the tools necessary to bring about positive change on their campuses through campaigning and facilitating peer support programmes. The UPP Foundation’s grant will support this important work and help to ensure students are provided with the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health and to support others.
The Foundation will fund Student Minds’ Student Living project, working in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University. The project includes the development of a front-line staff training scheme, informed by a focused research project. The resulting guidance pack with be published to increase sector understanding of the experiences of accommodation staff and students. In addition, peer support for students will be piloted on-site at Nottingham Trent University. This project will help to inform UPP and the sector’s approach to student mental health.
Paul Marshall, Group Business Development Director at UPP and UPP Foundation Trustee Board Chair commented: “The UPP Foundation presents a fantastic opportunity to support the higher education sector, expand public debate and encourage collaboration and the sharing of best practice. A corporate foundation is visible and centralised avenue for focusing and directing critically important Corporate Social Responsibility activity and will ensure the best possible outcomes for our charity partners. I’m delighted to announce the launch of the Foundation and I look forward to the official launch event in the Summer.”