City life | By Gemma Bradshaw

City’s Civic Engagement Strategy: A commitment to supporting and safeguarding the future of our community

At City, we are proud of our place in Islington and the role we play in local life. We are not just a university committed to civic engagement, but a civic university where our community is at the heart of everything we do.


Development of a new Civic Engagement Strategy at City is now in full force. It is an important step in helping City maximise its positive contributions to the local area and London as a whole, as well as enhance student and staff experiences and our research power and practice.


A Task and Finish Group comprised of volunteers across City was established in December 2019 to collectively oversee the strategy’s development.


2020, in times of COVID-19, saw our civic engagement support those most in need in our community – from healthcare, to combatting digital poverty by donating laptops to local schools. Despite the pandemic, work on the strategy continued at pace and the group collated activities that our staff and students were already involved in across each of our Schools, reviewing best practice across the sector and attending events to improve and transfer knowledge.


Our civic engagement involves collaboration and input from staff and students at all levels. We approached our student and staff bodies to capture their ideas and thoughts, with many new people coming forward to be more engaged in the future development of the strategy.


Five key themes, linked to a number of existing strategies and initiatives already at City, including City’s Vision & Strategy 2026, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy launched in 2020 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which City committed to in 2019, have been identified:


  • Economic prosperity: Working closely with businesses and individuals, and through our direct impact as a large organisation, we will support the local economy in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and in responding to current and future workforce needs.
  • Education: We will improve educational aspirations and attainment levels and increase lifelong learning and professional development opportunities for all.
  • Health and wellbeing: We will address particular health challenges within our communities through our contribution to the healthcare economy and by encouraging healthy and active lifestyles.
  • Society and culture: We will challenge and tackle social inequality and racial injustice and promote the value of diversity through our cultural activities, our research, our approach to education and our institutional culture and values.
  • Sustainability: We will enhance the environment through the application of our innovative research and demonstrate the University’s sustainability commitment by supporting our local communities to adopt sustainable practices.


You can find out more about City’s civic history, focus and developing strategy on our website.