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UPP Foundation Civic University Commission Conference: How to truly strengthen the connection between universities and their places.


Jul 2019

UK universities play a critical role in supporting the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of the places in which they are located. Civic University Agreements (CUAs) – the key recommendation of the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission – will enhance the civic role of universities through a clear strategic plan, rooted in a robust analysis of local need.

This workshop-style conference will further the discussion on how to be a truly civic university, hosting sessions looking at the design and content of CUAs. Building on the excellent work carried out already, the aim of this conference is to ensure that all stakeholders have the capability and opportunity to further support the places where they are based to solve some of their most pressing and major problems. A guidance report on CUAs will be published at the conference, which will be informed by the consultation exercise currently being undertaken.

Venue: Woburn House, Tavistock Square, Kings Cross, London WC1H 9HQ.

Sessions will include

  • Keynotes from Lord Kerslake (Chair of the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission), Sir Nicholas Serota CH (Chair, Arts Council England) and Chris Millward (Director for Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students)
  • A presentation and interactive workshop on the CUA guidance, led by Professor John Goddard (Vice-Chair of the Civic University Commission) and Paul Manners (National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement)
  • See below for the full agenda.


Please note that this agenda and speakers are subject to change.

09:45 – Arrival and registration

10:15 – Welcome and Introduction

How to truly strengthen the connection between universities and their places
From Richard Brabner – Director, UPP Foundation

10:20 – Keynote

Why are Civic University Agreements needed now?
From Lord Kerslake – Chair, Civic University Commission

10:40 – Keynote

The fourth pillar: civic universities, culture and the community
From Sir Nicholas Serota CH – Chair, Arts Council England

10:55 – Q&A

With Lord Kerslake and Sir Nicholas Serota CH

11:05 – Case studies

Lessons and key insights learned from designing and implementing CUAs

  • Laura Ottery – Head of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Sheffield Hallam
  • Professor Jane Robinson – Dean of Engagement and Place,
    Newcastle University

11:35 – Coffee break

11:45 – Consultation and framework on Civic University Agreements

How do we ensure that all institutions have the capability and opportunity to
further support the places where they are based?

  • Professor John Goddard OBE – Vice Chair, Civic University
  • Paul Manners – Director of the National Coordinating Centre for Public

13:00 – Lunch

13:45 – Panel

How can working with different sectors support your communities and

  • Rachel Wolf – Panel Chair – Founding Partner, Public First
  • Dinah Caine CBE – Creative Industries Council and Chair of Council,
    Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Diana Beech – Policy Adviser to Minister of State for Universities,
    Science, Research and Innovation and Interim Minister of State for
    Energy and Clean Growth, Chris Skidmore MP
  • Lewis Cooper – Director, Independent Commission on the College of
    the Future
  • Michael Wood – Head of Health Economic Partnerships, NHS

14:45 – Panel

How can working with community organisations best deliver sustainable local

  • Richard Brabner – Panel Chair – Director, UPP Foundation
  • Frances Jones – Associate Director, Centre for Local Economic
    Strategies (CLES)
  • Jill Baker – Director of Development, Lloyds Bank Foundation
  • Philippe Granger – CEO, Rushey Green Time Bank (RGTB)
  • Pippa Coutts – Policy and Development Manager, Carnegie UK Trust

15:30 – Coffee break

15:40 – Keynote

How does the civic agenda align with the regulatory framework?
From Chris Millward – Director for Fair Access and Participation, Office for

16:10 – Next steps for continuing the Civic University Agreement movement

From Richard Brabner – Director, UPP Foundation

We are bringing together expert delegates which include a diverse range of stakeholders and speakers from across higher education, local government, business, economic development, further education, schools and policy-making. The event will be ideally suited to university leaders, colleagues who are taking the strategic lead for developing your CUA, as well as those who will be writing the agreement.

Tickets are £225 for the first ticket and £100 for each additional ticket purchased. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please email for more information.