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Belonging to the Future

The UPP Foundation launches its new 2025 strategy

Today [21 October] the UPP Foundation launches its new strategy as it celebrates five years supporting the higher education community.

The strategy – Belonging to the Future – outlines its vision to help students, graduates and universities fulfil their potential to transform lives and communities.

Running until 2025, Belonging to the Future articulates three goals for the UPP Foundation.

1. Enable students and graduates to succeed

To support student wellbeing and social capital amongst all students, the UPP Foundation will fund projects which enable students to build networks and relationships through participation in a ‘living and learning’ university experience – widening opportunity for all.

2. Develop green and sustainable civic universities

To connect the civic university movement with the climate emergency, the UPP Foundation will help universities to improve environmental sustainability and build partnerships with local communities to convene and lead climate action in their towns and cities.

3. Support higher education’s value to society

To improve higher education’s public value, the UPP Foundation will facilitate high quality engagement between universities, students, local communities and wider society – building on best practice and helping to drive the sector’s impact.

To deliver these goals the UPP Foundation will continue to fund pilot initiatives with charities and universities, and develop agenda setting thought leadership. The 2025 strategy also articulates a purpose to make effective use of its collective resource to provide support and development opportunities for grant recipients and the wider higher education community. 

Established in 2016, the UPP Foundation has funded 34 projects – investing over £1m directly into schemes which support disadvantaged students succeed at university. These projects have supported care leavers, people living in homeless shelters, poorer students, those struggling with their mental health, pupils taking BTECs, students with criminal convictions, student volunteers, and people retaking GCSEs in English and Maths.

Its public policy work – most notably its leadership of the renewed civic university agenda, and current Student Futures Commission – has transformed the higher education landscape.

The new strategy will enable the Foundation to grow its impact in a changing external environment. It is being formally launched at a reception to celebrate the UPP Foundation’s 5th birthday on 21 October, with new Skills Minister Alex Burghart MP amongst the speakers.

Jon Wakeford, Chair of the UPP Foundation said:

“To ensure we evolve and grow as a charity we are delighted to be launching our new strategy. This looks to the transformational power of universities – for students, graduates and communities to fulfil their potential. By focussing on participation in the living and learning experience, and connecting the civic agenda to the climate emergency, we will ensure the Foundation continues to make a difference to the sector we serve.

Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, Chair of the UPP Foundation Advisory Board said:

“The UPP Foundation has been central to much that has been good in higher education in recent years. Since its creation in 2016, it has consistently punched well above its weight, pushing forward agendas on civic universities, mental health, widening access for students and many, many more.

“I am proud to chair the Advisory Board which help to steer its agenda. I believe this new strategy will take the Foundation to the next level, raising its ambition, clarifying its goals and broadening its horizons. I look forward to reflecting in another five years on its new successes.”

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