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Civic University Commission

Response to the Wales Centre for Public Policy report on civic universities

13th November 2018 by Richard Brabner

Lord Kerslake, Chair of the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission responds to the Wales Centre for Public Policy report on civic universities

Responding to the publication of a report by the Wales Centre for Public Policy and commissioned by the Welsh Government on civic universities, Lord Kerslake Chair of the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission (and former Head of the Civil Service) said:

“This is a very important contribution to developing ideas for the civic university in the 21st century.

“The report makes a series of critical recommendations that will strengthen the public and civic role of welsh universities.

“I warmly welcome the focus on developing a strategic approach to civic engagement. This chimes with the findings of the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission, which found that whilst there is a significant amount of civic activity taking place in universities, there is very little evidence that it is informed by local need. Adopting civic strategies will be key to strengthening the positive impact of universities on their local communities.

“I also strongly commend the report’s recommendation to ensure there is a special focus on adults participating in higher education. The Civic University Commission’s progress report found that the crisis in adult education is a major threat to the UK economy. As automation transforms the workforce, our evidence shows that lifelong-learning is the key to future prosperity and wellbeing.  

Upon publication, the report will be available at:

Notes for Editors

  1. The Wales Centre for Public Policy report, Maximising universities’ civic contribution, co-authored by Professor John Goddard, Professor Ellen Hazelkhorn, Stevie Upton and Tom Boland, is being published on Tuesday 13 November
  2. The report was commissioned by the Welsh Government
  3. The UPP Foundation Civic University Commission is a major independent inquiry into the future of the civic university. It was launched in March 2018 and is chaired by the former Head of the UK Civil Service, Lord Kerslake. More information:
  4. The UPP Foundation’s Civic University Commission Progress Report was published on Monday, 22 October 2018. It found that in the UK there are over 111,000 fewer students (aged 25 and over) in higher education than there were in 2012.
  5. Professor John Goddard, the co-author of Maximising universities’ civic contribution, is a Commissioner on the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission

Richard Brabner

Richard Brabner is the Director of UPP Foundation

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