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Re-claiming the mission of the Civic University in the 21st century

3 October 2018

CHES Seminar Wednesday, 3 October 2018


Re-claiming the mission of the Civic University in the 21st century: some preliminary thoughts and a future agenda  


Professor Mary Stuart, CBE, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lincoln


5.30 – 7.00 pm, Room 828, Level 8, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL


The history of the Civic University is well documented (Goddard, Hazelkorn, Kempton and Vallance, 2016; Whyte, 2015) highlighting the role Universities played historically and regionally in the development of economies and changing patterns of work. Since the introduction of fees and markets in higher education in the UK many aspects of community involvement have been swept away; departments of continuing education have closed, part time study has been decimated and staff in Universities have focused on current undergraduate student need and demands.
As the current funding model for higher education has been questioned there is a stronger policy concern over ‘value for money’ in HE and increasingly the role of Universities as anchor institutions ( Harris and Holley, 2016; Markusen, 2006) is being promoted as a different form of value for money for 'tax payers' in addition to value for money for students or graduates.  This seminar will explore how the civic is being re-invented within the current policy discourse and will begin a debate about whether the needs of communities will be better served in this new environment of 'impact' and 'value for money'.  



Goddard J, Hazelkorn E, Kempton L and Vallance P (2016) (eds) The Civic University: The Policy and Leadership Challenges, Elgar: Cheltenham

Harris M and Holley, K (2016) ‘Universities as Anchor Institutions: Economic and Social Potential for Urban Development’, in Paulson M (eds) Higher Education Handbook of Theory and Research, Vol 31, Springer: Switzerland pages 393 - 439

Markusen A (2006)   Urban Development and the Politics of a Creative Class’, in Environment and Planning, volume 38, pages 1921 - 1940

Whyte W (2015) Redbrick: A Social and Architectural History of Britain's Civic Universities, OUP: Oxford


Professor Mary Stuart is Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln. She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and the Open University where she obtained her Doctorate in Social Policy in 1998. She gained her Chair in Higher Education Studies in 2003.  Her research interests are focused on life histories, social mobility, equality and higher education students and management and leadership in higher education and she has written extensively on these areas.  Mary has a strong track record in all aspects of University management having been Deputy Vice Chancellor at Kingston University for 4 years and Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Sussex between 2000 and 2005.  She is a HEFCE board member, chair of the Teaching Excellence and Student Opportunity Committee, a member of HEFCE’s Student Information Advisory Group,  Vice Chair of the Equality Challenge Unit and an UPP Foundation Board member.  Mary has a strong commitment to the arts having been a member of the Arts Council in the South East and East Midlands as well as being a keen theatre goer, a lover of modern art and all jazz.


For more information and to register, please contact Alison Peacock. 


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