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"The UPP Foundation is focussing its activity on four themes that are crucial to students, graduates and universities"

– Dr. Paul Marshall – Chair of the Trustee Board, Group Business Development Director, UPP


The UPP Foundation’s themes promote the public benefit of UK higher education. By supporting universities in their efforts to enrich their communities and transform lives, the UPP Foundation will make a small but significant contribution to the higher education sector.

Access & Retention

Everyone with the potential and ambition to go to and succeed at university should have the ability to do so, regardless of background, family income or disability. Yet there are still too many barriers to access for underrepresented groups and too many challenges to overcome once there for students who face problems, such as health issues or financial difficulties.

The UPP Foundation will support projects that raise aspiration and wherewithal amongst students from disadvantaged and low-participating backgrounds and support schemes that mitigate against challenges that prevent students from completing their studies. Our policy platform will host articles and papers from experts who will discuss best approaches for the higher education sector and ways policy could better support access and retention to university.

The Civic University

Universities enrich our cities, towns and regions through community access to lifelong education programmes, music culture and the arts, sporting facilities and public engagement events. This strengthens the place they are part of and helps universities become the civic anchor of their communities.

The UPP Foundation supports projects that help foster partnership and collaboration between universities and their local communities. Its policy platform will focus on ways in which universities and their communities can build mutually beneficial relationships for the public good.


Employment is vital for economic and social wellbeing, so it is of no surprise that most students who enter higher education do so in the hope of securing fulfilling employment. Graduates fair better than non-graduates in the jobs market but employers continue to complain that students and young people more widely do not have the skills to succeed in the workplace.

The UPP Foundation will support innovative projects that enhance young peoples’ social capital and skills development that are so important in helping them become employable. Our policy platform will discuss the best approaches for employability and ways in which universities and business collaborate effectively.

Global Citizens

Technological innovation has rapidly increased the interconnected and interdependent nature of our world. To thrive in the 21st Century we need to understand and preserve cultural diversity, as well as embrace our commonly shared values of pluralism, equality and tolerance. Universities are at the forefront of advancing the concept of global citizenship through their international activities such as student exchange schemes and trans-national education programmes.

The UPP Foundation will support projects within the higher education sector that promote global citizenship. The policy platform will discuss the challenges and opportunities that emerge from globalisation for universities, students and graduates alike.

The UPP Foundation is a grant-making body and a public policy platform, working to encourage collaboration and innovation within the higher education sector. If you would like to contribute to this discourse or find out more about the UPP Foundation please get in touch.