How to Progress a Civic Agreement for your University and Partners 2 February 2021
Developing a Civic Agreement
Developing an overall agreement, rather than 2 separate ones tailored to each university area, made sense. To achieve this, Arup collected extensive evidence to understand the universities’ economic, social, cultural and environmental priorities as well as stakeholder priorities. Insight was produced as to how the universities could make a difference throughout Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, particularly in addressing challenges presented by Covid-19. A key finding from this research found that every 22 seconds a Nottingham resident is: trained by; attends a programme run by; supported by a student or staff member by; or works in a business supported by one of the two universities. This figure demonstrates the breadth of engagement and interaction between the universities and Nottingham’s community.
5 themes were established which framed how civic conversations were initiated when developing the agreement. These were health and well-being, economic prosperity, education and opportunity, environmental sustainability and unlocking university opportunities. Arup assisted the universities in Webinar Review This session offered practical tips and learning outcomes from the University of Nottingham and Arup, who were part of a wider team that developed the UK’s first Civic Agreement. The publisher is unable to take responsibility for the views and opinions expressed by contributors. Any advice, opinion or information contained is published only on the footing that the Publisher, and all contributors to this article shall be under no liability whatsoever in respect of contents. consulting with key stakeholders and partners. 85 stakeholders took part in a virtual one-day conference which involved a number of roundtable sessions. Key takeaways from this session were added to the original research document, highlighting what the core challenges and opportunities were, along with tangible ideas which could inform the civic agreement. Now that the agreement is in place, it can be continually adapted and refined to suit the needs of the city.
Covid-19’s Influence and Civic Agreement Significance
Covid-19’s economic impact on revenue has been substantial. However, it has emphasised the importance of organisation and co-ordination going forward. Despite the civic agreement being a timely process, its essence was to improve the universities’ understanding of local challenges which need addressed, and to capitalise on existing opportunities. The agreement has been monumental in strengthening connections between the universities and local stakeholders and partners. Both local and global opportunities have been initiated, such as securing an international student for doctoral training in biology. The universities came together and set up a Covid-19 testing regime, which would not have been possible without this agreement. The pandemic highlights the role that co-operation and collaboration play on both a local and global level.
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