Civic University Agreement

The University of Suffolk has at the heart of its mission, a responsibility to be a model for a new type of civic university – embedded, influential and a focus of societal and economic change in all the communities it serves.

This initiative will harness the work, influence and energy of the students, staff and alumni of the University to promote societal, economic and environmental advancements in and for the people of Suffolk. We have strongly believed, and positioned, the University at the heart of the community and this initiative is designed to enhance our community engagement across the County.

Our Civic University agreement was developed following a consultation project led by Dr Cristian Dogaru.

Transforming Suffolk Together

Waterfront Building and the marina

Word Clouds

A series of consultation events were held with the public, stakeholders, staff and students and our key regional partners to help inform the Civic University Agreement’s guiding principles. The word clouds illustrate the feedback from the staff survey and the general public survey and have helped shape our principles: community roots and engagement; embedding the civic university principles into teaching and research; bringing organisations together; and improving communication and visibility.

Linking the guiding principles to the University’s areas of distinctiveness — preserving and celebrating the culture and heritage of Suffolk; fostering sustainable economic growth and regeneration; enhancing skills and aspirations beyond traditional higher education; addressing the health challenges of the region and harnessing digital innovation.

To reaffirm our engagement, we have set out a series of pledges to our communities in a Civic University Agreement. These pledges seek to address the key regional challenges we face; and drive positive change to improve the lives of residents and communities.

Two students walking up the stairs

Our Pledges

  • We pledge to engage in partnerships that foster a vibrant local culture and economy while showcasing our contributions on a global stage, ensuring that the unique needs and voices of Suffolk’s communities are heard and valued.

  • We pledge to continue integrating civic engagement and social responsibility themes more visibly and relevantly across our curriculum, and to expand our community-based learning opportunities, enabling students to work directly with local organisations on projects that drive social change.

  • We commit to facilitating inclusive community projects that bridge urban and rural divides, promoting a unified and resilient regional identity.

  • We commit to fostering interdisciplinary research that addresses the real-world challenges of our region, translating academic excellence into tangible societal benefits.

  • We pledge to serve as a central hub and convener for the University, its students, and the broader community, enabling a dynamic exchange of ideas and collaborative solutions.

  • We will offer our facilities as a convening space for community organisations, fostering a hub of civic and cultural activity.

  • We pledge to enhance our communication strategies to ensure our civic activities and achievements are visible and accessible to all community members.

Our Partners

Our civic role is predominantly a team role and many of our partners have contributed during the development of the project. Their ongoing commitment and support are of significant value to the University and our region.

Civic University partner logos

Our Civic University Agreement

Read more about our commitment to promoting societal, economic and environmental advancements in and for the people of Suffolk.

A group of students gathered with guests at the Arts Degree Show