Responding to the report by the Civic University Commission, which sets out the place of universities in civic life, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, said:
“Universities across the country can often make a critical contribution, working with councils and other partners to address key economic and social challenges at the local level.
“This timely report further highlights the significant benefits for local communities arising from greater civic engagement across the higher education landscape and identifies the clear need for a stronger focus by government on place-based policy and funding.
“While local circumstances and capacity are likely to be key factors in the strength and sustainability of any long term relationship, the report’s proposal for Civic University Agreement shows real promise and has the potential to provide a robust framework for greater collaboration between universities, councils and their local communities.
“We look forward to working with the Commission, government and others to discuss in more detail how these proposals might work in practice.”