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The University of Manchester is the UK’s largest higher education institution and part of the prestigious Russell Group of universities. It is the only higher education institution in the UK with a commitment to social responsibility as a core strategic goal. The University’s strategy for social responsibility is based around five strategic priorities:

  • Research with Impact: enabling research and discovery to make a positive difference to society.
  • Socially-Responsible Graduates: ensuring students and graduates can exercise social and environmental responsibilities.
  • Engaging our Communities: engaging people and organisations to make a difference to local communities and wider society.
  • Responsible Processes: making organisational business-processes and policies balance efficiency with opportunities for creating social benefit.
  • Environmental Sustainability: ensuring research, teaching and activities are guided by a commitment to environmental sustainability.

These broad strategic priorities are given substance through the prioritisation of a small number of social responsibility ‘signature programmes’ to focus and measure efforts in making the most significant difference to society. These consist of:

  • School Governor Initiative: contributing to the leadership of state schools by creating the fastest growth of volunteer school governors of any UK employer.
  • The Works Initiative: tackling long-term unemployment in the University’s local community through an employment support centre in a neighbouring disadvantaged community.
  • Cultural Explorers: targeting local primary schools pupils and their families to access out-of-school learning opportunities across the University’s cultural institutions.
  • Make a Difference: Think Sustainability: providing all staff with the opportunity to engage in a sustainability learning and action programme.
  • Addressing Inequalities: enhancing research addressing issues of equality and fairness in its city-region.
  • Ethical Grand Challenges: providing every undergraduate with the opportunity to confront key ethical grand challenges through the completion of a common programme in each year of study.
  • Equity & Merit Scholarships: these scholarships aim to assist talented but economically disadvantaged students from some of the world’s poorest countries. The Scholarships are currently available for postgraduate taught master’s students from Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

WEBLINK - http://www.socialresponsibility.manchester.ac.uk

Manchester’s societal impact is best in Europe according to new ranking 

The University of Manchester ranks as the best higher education institution (HEI) in Europe – and in the top three globally – for its social and environmental impact across its full range of functions.

The prestigious new ranking comes in the inaugural Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. Manchester was competing against more than 500 universities from around the world.

The ranking is based on the “societal impact” of the University’s research using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a framework.

The seventeen SDGs came into effect in 2016 and have the support of 193 Member States of the United Nations. They are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. They include challenges such as; climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities.

Manchester sits joint third in the global rankings, tied with the University of British Colombia (UBC) and trailing McMaster University in 2nd, both of which are based in Canada. The world’s highest performer was New Zealand’s University of Auckland. 

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility at the University, said: “The SDGs are our world’s call to action on the most important challenges facing our people and planet. Being recognised as Europe’s highest-ranking University in this new index – and third in the world overall – is a brilliant reflection of the work of our researchers, teachers, students, professional services and cultural institution staff, enhancing our global reputation as a leader on social responsibility and impact.”

Dr Skyrme added: “Staff, students, alumni and external partners should take enormous pride in this success since it covers a wide variety of our societal and environmental impacts – our research impact, cultural institutions, civic and global outreach, professional services policies and processes, inclusion programmes, and contributions to economic wellbeing.”


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