Universities in Lincoln have pledged to support City of Lincoln Council in enhancing the city through a Civic University Agreement.
The council will work in partnership with both the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste University, with a pledge by the universities to support pressing issues in the city, ranging from helping businesses adapt to technical change, to boosting the health of local people.
Both universities have now officially signed the agreement, highlighting their commitment to putting Lincoln at the top of their list of priorities.
The University of Lincoln, opened in 1996, was the first new city centre campus in the country to be built in 25 years. The student intake has now increased to around 14,000, and the university employs around 1,600 staff. It is now ranked in the top 20 Universities in the UK, has TEF Gold awarded for the highest quality teaching, and a has recently been recognised with a maximum five-star rating in the global QS Stars.
The university has invested more than £300 million into its city centre campus alongside the Brayford Pool, creating approximately 3,000 jobs for local people and attracting academics and students from around the world.
In 2012, the status of Bishop Grosseteste University was confirmed, creating a second university in the city, which now has around 2,250 students.
The teaching facility has been in Lincoln for more than 150 years and currently holds the TEF Gold award, given to institutions that consistently deliver outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for their students.
In signing this Civic University Agreement with the City of Lincoln Council, the universities will:
· Build on their own institutional strengths and current civic activities
· Reflect the priorities of the people of Lincoln, and what they want from their universities
· Work with other local institutions, businesses and community organisations, local authorities and plans to deliver a unified vision for the city
· Develop a clear set of priorities, collaborating and aligning resources and activities with each other and with the City of Lincoln Council, the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (‘GLLEP’), and the NHS
· Articulate a clear plan of action for the five-year period 2020–2025.
Welcoming the agreement, Simon Walters, Director for Communities and Environment at City of Lincoln Council said: “This agreement will be constantly evolving, adapting to the changing needs and priorities of the city of Lincoln.
“It aligns and joins up the current civic activities of the two universities, and articulates a set of goals for further joint working with ourselves and other local bodies.
“This is one of the first such agreements in the country and we look forward to working with the universities to further enhance our city as a great place to live, work, visit, learn and invest.”
University of Lincoln Vice Chancellor Professor Mary Stuart said: “The University of Lincoln was established out of the overwhelming support of our local communities so we take our responsibility to the city very seriously.
“The university is now very much part of the rich heritage of our wonderful region and this civic agreement will allow us to move forward to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century in partnership with all stakeholders.”
Rev’d Canon Professor Peter Neil, Vice-Chancellor Bishop Grosseteste University commented: “We as a university are committed to supporting pressing issues within the city.
“By signing this agreement, we will place the city at the top of our list of priorities and look forward to working closely with the City of Lincoln Council to achieve this.”
Mayor of Lincoln, Cllr Sue Burke, added: "With both Universities playing such an important role in the life of our fantastic city I'm so pleased that we have this new partnership, and look forward to the exciting opportunities it will bring in the future."