In recent years we have played an important leadership role in the region - improving social mobility, quality of life and the economy through the impact of our students, research and collaborations.
However, creating a Civic University Agreement provided an opportunity for a fundamental rethink. We asked ourselves, “what more can we do?” to put community at the heart of everyday practice and ensure that we deliver against the real priorities of the region.
In 2019 we commissioned YouGov to undertake a study to better understand the views of local residents about the University, their thoughts on our contribution to the region and what priorities they have for their communities. We also held a public consultation to gain qualitative feedback.
Data showed that 39% of local residents are proud of the role Sheffield Hallam plays within the region, although a similar number (38%) had no strong view either way.
The results showed the need for us to improve understanding of our regional impact, as many local people were unsure about this.
Both the YouGov poll and the public consultation showed support for the University’s contribution in key areas. Over 70% of respondents rated the following activities as most important:
• Train more nurses, physiotherapists, paramedics and other local NHS workers (79%).
• Provide extra support for people from disadvantaged backgrounds in the local area to study at university (75%).
• Partner with local business to ensure teaching provides work ready students with the skills the region needs (70%).
In addition to our public consultation, we engaged with key regional partners to understand their priorities. This included our elected Mayor Dan Jarvis MP, our Combined Authority, the Local Enterprise Partnership, local authorities, local NHS trusts, Further Education partners and other key stakeholders.
These discussions helped shape the commitments outlined in our agreement, ensuring that our plans are joined-up and support some of the key challenges and priorities identified by partners.