A world class university: Newcastle University, UK


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Presentation by John Goddard, Newcastle University, UK, on the occasion of the EESC workshop on Universities for Europe (Brussels, 13 June 2014)

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A world class university: Newcastle University, UK

  1. 1. A world class civic university : Newcastle University, UK John Goddard Emeritus Professor Formerly Deputy Vice Chancellor 1
  2. 2. Vision and Mission • “A civic university with a global reputation for academic excellence with a purpose” • “To be a world class research intensive university, delivering teaching and facilitating learning of the highest quality and playing a leading role in the economic, social and cultural development of North East England” • Responding to societal challenges • According parity of esteem to teaching and research • Globally ambitious and regionally rooted
  3. 3. The role of engagement with civil society globally and locally within the mission “The combination of being globally competitive and regionally rooted underpins our vision for the future. We see ourselves not only as doing high quality academic work … but also choosing to work in areas responsive to large scale societal needs and demands, particularly those manifested in our own city and region” Chris Brink, Vice Chancellor • Paying attention to not just what we are good at but what we are good for • Delivering benefits not just to individuals and organisations but society as a whole • Putting academic knowledge creativity and expertise to work to come forward with innovations and solutions that will make a difference • Combining academic excellence on the supply side with a range of regional and global challenges on the demand side • Operating on a national scale but also recognising the extent to which location in the City of Newcastle forms the unique identity of the institution
  4. 4. The internal structure and organisation to support civic engagement • Three faculties headed by Pro-Vice Chancellors controlling their own budgets (Humanities and Social Sciences; Medical Sciences; Science, Agriculture & Engineering) • Pro-Vice Chancellors with cross cutting responsibility for research and innovation; teaching and learning and engagement but with limited budgets • Co-ordination via an Executive Board including the heads of administration and directors of finance and human resources. • Three institution wide Societal Challenge Themes embracing research, teaching and engagement: - Ageing - Sustainability - Social renewal
  5. 5. The internal and external barriers to civic engagement: conflicting drivers • Primary drivers global rankings for academic research excellence and student satisfaction scores for teaching. • The promise vs. the practise of civic engagement, with much activity below the radar of senior management. • Stress in public finances and the marketisation of HE: who pays for the public good role? • To collaborate and compete with other universities locally, nationally and globally • To respond to global challenges (e.g environmental and demographic change) and to be not just in but playing an active role in the development of the home city and region • To link with business and the community • As a civic university seeking to resolve these potentially conflicting drivers
  6. 6. The academic perspective • ‘The notion of treating our city and its region as a seedbed for sustainability initiatives is a potent one… the vision is of academics out in the community, working with local groups and businesses on practical initiatives to solve problems and promote sustainable development and growth’ • “This necessitates that we proceed in a very open manner, seeking to overcome barriers to thought, action and engagement; barriers between researchers and citizens, between the urban and the rural, between the social and natural sciences, between teaching research and enterprise” Director of Newcastle Institute for Sustainability
  7. 7. How EU policies can help deliver the civic mission • ESIF assisting the University act as a connector between regional assets and global opportunities – the key role of the Smart Specialisation Platform ,the EUA and the new UK hub in bridging the gap between hitherto disconnected HE, regional and innovation policy domains • Recognition of the Newcastle City region as a ‘living lab’ for testing and shaping and delivery of new products and services (e.g. electrical vehicles, sub- sea and offshore engineering and assistive technologies for an ageing population ) and the role of the university as an urban ‘anchor’ institutions. • Support for overcoming the challenges of building synergies between the structural funds and Horizon 2020 societal challenge themes. • Support for institutional capacity building under the ‘Science with and for Society’ cross cutting theme in Horizon 2020. • Support for developing a European network of civic universities embracing the quadruple helix model of innovation that embraces civil society as well as business.