The Civic University and the City


Cover of the Civic University Commission report, titled 'Truly Civic: strengthening the connection between universities and their places'

A public lecture by Professor John Goddard OBE

  • Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies
  • Formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Newcastle
  • Vice Chair of the Civic University Commission

This public lecture explored the challenge of building bridges between place, higher education and research and innovation policy.

It drew on Professor Goddard’s publications on The University and the City (an outside-in perspective) and The Civic University: the Policy and Leadership Challenges (an inside-out perspective). The discussion was set in the context of the implications of the growing marketisation of higher education and what this means for the role of universities as ‘anchor institutions’ in meeting the needs of ‘left-behind places’.

It concluded with a summary of the findings of the Civic University Commission and its proposals for Civic University Agreements between universities and their local partners now endorsed by the VCs of 52 UK universities, including Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian.

Presentation – video, transcript and slides

Related links

Related resources

The civic university

Report published by the Civic University Commission set up by the UPP Foundation and chaired by the former Head of the Civil Service, Lord Kerslake. The report sets out how universities have the capability, opportunity and responsibility to further support the places where they are based to solve some of their most pressing and major problems.

The University of Glasgow’s commitment to produce a Civic University Agreement in partnership with local government and other major institutions.

Examples of collaborative research

What Works Scotland logo with the organisation name and two cogwheelsWhat Works Scotland – at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh – pioneered collaborative action research (CAR) in multi-agency, multi-practitioner public service environments.

What Works Scotland established a process to enable University of Glasgow masters students to conduct their dissertation fieldwork in Glasgow’s Thriving Places projects. This allowed interested students to have research impact and for Thriving Places to receive useful evidence to inform future work.

Children's Neighbourhoods Scotland logo with the organisation name and two balloonsChildren’s Neighbourhoods Scotland brings people together to do more for children and young people. The first neighbourhood is in Bridgeton and Dalmarnock in Glasgow,  and is a partnership initiative including the Robert Owen Centre at the University of Glasgow, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and Education Services at Glasgow City Council. It is developing and piloting a practical example of the What Works Scotland approach to place-based change.

This lecture, in the Policy Scotland public lecture series, took place on Monday 10 June 2019 at the Wolfson Medical School, University of Glasgow.