I am pleased to welcome you to This is City 2023, our annual magazine.

The theme of this issue is Community, a word that means different things to different people, but whatever it means to you, we can agree on how important it is. City is a ‘civic university’ with deep roots in the City of London and in its creative fringe – Clerkenwell, Finsbury, Shoreditch. We are proud of our place in Islington and the positive impact that our work has on that community.

City’s community is broad and diverse, encompassing students, staff, alumni, partners, friends, local residents and more. In this edition we examine some of the important work that the University has been doing to provide support to these groups during a time of great economic and social challenges.

We examine our role within Islington and the range of activities that we undertake to benefit those who live close to us. These include events such as the Sustainable Hackathon – open to our neighbours – and the visits that we organise for school children to see our Journalism Department’s broadcast studios to find out what it is like to work in radio, TV, or podcasting.

We also explore the work of City’s legal advice clinic (CLAC), which provides free legal advice and services for local people.

The cost-of-living crisis has had a significant impact on many this year, including students. In February 2023, the Office for National Statistics reported 91 per cent of students were either somewhat or very worried about the rising cost of living.

As a university which takes care of its students extremely seriously, we were determined to look at ways that we could mitigate the impact on them. Within This is City, we look at how our staff and alumni have mobilised to support students in need, including through the Student Hardship Fund and by providing food vouchers, travel bursaries and free sanitary products.

This outreach work exemplifies the three values that are an integral part of the strategy that we launched last year – We Care, We Learn, We Act. We hope it brings real change and makes a lasting difference to those who are at the heart of everything we do.

I hope you enjoy reading this edition of This is City and please let us know what you think.