A group representing 44 universities and HE colleges in London has launched England’s first-ever map of civic university action to show how its members benefit the capital.
The London Higher Civic Map – which contains over 150 case studies – is a “living document”, which seeks to help policymakers better understand the contributions universities make to their local region.
The map is the biggest attempt, so far, at indicating the collective efforts of the capital’s higher education sector across six areas: health, education, business, creative, community cohesion and the environment.
It identifies civic engagement “hotspots” in the city and supports policymakers targeting inequality in the parts of London that need it the most.
Professor Wendy Thompson, vice-chancellor of the University of London and executive chair of London Higher’s Civic Network, said: “London Higher’s civic university map helps us understand how much London’s universities already contribute to their communities, but also where and how they could do more.
“The role of higher education institutions across London will be instrumental in ensuring that our capital and our country recovers from the pandemic, and we look forward to working with The Mayor, the GLA, and national policymakers to step up to the challenge.”
As our map confirms, London’s higher education institutions are true lifebuoys for their localities
— Dr Diana Beech, London Higher
Dr Diana Beech, chief executive officer of London Higher, said: “To help the capital get back on its feet quickly, policymakers should be looking for ways to harness the transformative power and collaboration that is already in abundance across the capital’s leading public and private-sector institutions.
“As our map confirms, London’s higher education institutions are true lifebuoys for their localities—always visible to those around them, and ready to help keep their capital and its people afloat in times of crisis.”
Professor Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president of the University of East London, and chair of London Higher, said: “London Higher is committed to showing national policymakers that London’s universities and colleges are civic too, and that our local communities are at the heart of everything that we do. This mapping project highlights the impact of members on their local communities, whether or not they have attended a London institution.”
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