Universities Week – Big Ideas for Society

This week is Universities Week 2011, a national campaign demonstrating the benefits of universities within UK society! Today focuses on universities’ historical contribution to the big society, long before this phrase became commonly used. Thriving university towns and cities will be highlighted by demonstrating how universities give back to the local and national community.

A new report out today shows the social impact of universities is worth over £1.31 billion in the form of health and wellbeing, citizenship and political engagement, and that universities benefit everyone not just those who go to university to study. The report, published by leading independent thinktank nef and Universities UK (Degrees of Value: How universities benefit society) attempts for the first time to put a monetary value on some of the ways that universities contribute to society at a local and a national level, using Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology. These values are above and beyond the economic contribution that universities make.

BU makes a significant contribution to society through many initiatives, such as:

  • sponsoring St Aldhelms Academy in Poole
  • providing volunteering opportunities for staff and students via The Hub
  • exercise classes, sports facilities, tournaments, children’s summer camps, etc, offered by SportBU
  • citizenship days for local school children are run by the Centre for Global Perspectives
  • the Atrium Art Gallery showcases work by local and national artists, offers free entry and is open to the public

You can read the full report here.