University of Portsmouth pledges to make city’s community ‘vital’ to its future

University of Portsmouth. Picture: Supplied
University of Portsmouth. Picture: Supplied
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ACADEMICS will do more to look after the wellbeing of people living in the city.

The University of Portsmouth is one of 30 to sign a new Civic University Agreement, which pledges that the university will focus more on the city’s economy and quality of life.

Plans include helping businesses adapt to technological change and supporting the health of nearby residents. The institution’s Dental Academy already does outreach work.

The agreement is part of a report by the Civic University Commission, chaired by Lord Kerslake.

He said: ‘The deep economic and social changes that are happening in Britain today have, alongside Brexit, made the civic role of universities even more vital to the places they are located in.

‘The civic universities of the Victorian era were founded as expressions of civic pride, and as a way of sharing knowledge and opportunity at a time of rapid change.

‘We are now entering a new industrial revolution when it will be even more vital that knowledge is accessible in as many communities as possible.

‘Universities are under unprecedented challenge and need to find a broader base of support; they need to be part of a community which is engaged, supportive and shares objectives.’

The report warns there is a danger that any cut in university resources, such as a reduction in student fees without the deficit being made up with Treasury funding will mean work already being done in this area could suffer.

A number of top tier Russell Group universities also pledged their support to the agreement.