valuing people and places
Cathedrals Group universities play a leading role in our local areas and wider regions. The geographical spread of our institutions is a particular strength, meaning we represent a truly diverse cross section of communities, from urban centres to coastal areas, and rural regions to Cathedral cities. Wheverever our universities are based, much of our work is built on the strength of our connections with local businesses, public services and charities.
We believe that amidst the major challenges of the 21st century, universities have a leading role to play in transforming areas and meeting the needs and aspirations of local people. This impact is at its strongest when universities play an open and integrated role in civic life, and feel welcoming and accessible to people from a wide range of backgrounds.
The inclusive ethos of our members and the deep roots we have built wth people and places over many years, mean Cathedrals Groups can help to re-frame the role of higher education as we move beyond the pandemic and reassert the value of learning and research to address new needs and problems. We have started a number of projects to explore this role together.
Our work together
Universities are increasingly required to engage more in society. The Cathedrals group universities have historically always had such community engagement at the heart of their mission. Supported by the Church Universities Fund, four Universities in the Cathedrals Group partnership each initiated new, or selected ongoing, community engagement / volunteering projects to evaluate. Drawing on our findings we formulated guidance to enhance community engagement activity. Based on our findings, we co-designed an evaluation protocol, and formulated a set of accessible guidelines (dos and don’ts) to inform design, implementation and evaluation of current and future community engagement/ volunteering and knowledge exchange projects in our Cathedrals Group and other universities. The executive summary and full report detail our project and will be helpful for universities and communities alike.