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David Relph blogs on universities and civic engagement for WONKHE

11 May 2016

Bristol Health Partners Director David Relph has blogged for WONKHE, the home of higher education policy makers, on how university leaders must rethink civic engagement.

In the blog, David says:

"Alongside major public sector organisations like hospitals and councils, universities are anchor institutions in their cities and regions. Their influence will be manifested in a range of different ways, some deliberate and explicit, some unintended. The prize available for those organisations with the imagination and ambition to see their role firmly in the context of the place they are based in is considerable.

"Universities can be powerhouses of change and impact in their communities. But to be a powerhouse is a choice that the leaders of our universities must be proactive in making. It will involve time and risk: committing resources to an agenda based on a shared understanding of ‘place’ is rarely recognised in the traditional metrics used to evaluate the success of institutions. However, there are also opportunities. I anticipate that we will see the emergence of many more groups of civic leaders, accelerated by the devolution agenda which implicitly demands that leaders act in a more civic way. Universities and the people who run them are among the best placed to lead this change. Here’s why..."

Read the full blog on the WONKHE website.

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