A report published today highlights how universities and students’ unions have worked together successfully to improve relations between student populations and local residents in towns and cities across the UK.
The joint GuildHE, NUS and Universities UK report highlights a number of successful university initiatives that have been established to address the so-called ‘town and gown’ divide. The report recognises that, in certain areas, the increase in student numbers has had a negative impact on relations between students and local residents, as university housing stock has been exceeded and significant numbers of students have moved into houses in the neighbouring streets and towns.
The publication, ‘Living Together, Working Together’, is the first joint publication produced by NUS, Universities UK and GuildHE. It is published during the inaugural ‘Universities Week’ – taking place from 14-20 June 2010 – which aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities.
Alice Hynes, Chief Executive Officer of GuildHE, said: “We are delighted to have worked with UUK and NUS on this publication. Universities Week is an ideal time to highlight what a valuable contribution students can make in their local communities, given the right support. GuildHE plans to build on this and continue in sharing best practice amongst our members.”
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “The so-called town and gown divide has existed for centuries, but it is only in recent years that it has been properly addressed by both universities and students’ unions.
The benefits that students bring to towns and cities are well known. For example, the 67,000 students who volunteer every year and the significant income students bring to the local economy. In the past, some of the negative impacts have sometimes been swept under the carpet, but as this report shows, there is now a genuine appetite by universities and students’ unions to address residents’ concerns. Both universities and students’ unions want to work constructively with local authorities and communities. The clear message is that prevention is better than cure.”
Susan Nash, Vice-President (Society & Citizenship) of NUS, said: “This publication sends a positive message about how we can make a difference when we work together. The case studies included in this report highlight how students are working hard to tackle the issues that their neighbourhoods face and ensure that the diversity of skills and experiences are shared with the wider community. NUS is delighted to be a part of Universities Week, and celebrating the positive impact that universities and their students are making on and off campus.”
1. The report ‘Living Together, Working Together’ is available to download here
2. The report features case studies from a range of universities and students’ unions across the UK including: Bournemouth University – I Love Campaign; Sheffield Hallam University – I Love Campaign; University of Manchester – I Love Campaign; University of Cambridge; University of Leeds; University of Reading; Northumbria University; Loughborough University; Durham University; York St John University; University of Ulster; Queens University Belfast; Queen Margaret University; Manchester Metropolitan University; Swansea University; Leeds Metropolitan University; Liverpool John Moores University; Southampton Solent University; University of Hull; University of Birmingham; University of Lincoln; University of Southampton; Lancaster University; University of Nottingham; University of Reading; University of Sunderland.
3. Universities Week is taking place from 14-20 June 2010, and aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities. Over 100 universities and linked organisations are involved in the week. Nationwide activity will include open days and debates for members of the public to attend. A full list of events taking place can be found at www.universitiesweek.org.uk
Supporters can also find out more about the campaign by joining the Universities Week Facebook fan page www.facebook.com/ukuniversities