Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

Mon, 26 Nov 2018 14:15:00 GMT

We are pleased to announce that The University of Manchester has recently committed to becoming accredited to the Living Wage Foundation. We have paid the living wage for a long time and above this offer a range of additional benefits such as family friendly-policies, generous pensions, sick pay and annual leave allowances. In recent weeks it has become clear that formal accreditation is important to staff and students and so, after listening to their views, we are seeking to become accredited as soon as possible.

We have made another important commitment recently by signing an SDG Accord. Signing the accord commits universities and colleges to embed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their work and reporting annually on their contribution. As part of this we are inviting staff to share examples of how they or their teams are contributing to the SDGs by filling in this short survey before Friday, 30 November.

Our annual Making a Difference Awards for social responsibility have been launched. These are an opportunity for commitment and successes in social responsibility among staff, students, alumni and external partners to be recognised and celebrated – and people can nominate themselves or someone else before 21 January 2019.

There have been some notable successes and milestones for social responsibility activity recently. Colleagues from the Faculty of Science and Engineering won Silver at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations North West PRide Awards on 7 November for our ScienceX event, which takes science engagement activities at the into Trafford Centre. Our brand new IntoUniversity Manchester North centre has now opened in Blackley, on the site of the Co-op Academy North school. Generously funded by donors to the University, this will offer a programme for schools and local young people including academic support, a subject specific FOCUS programme and mentoring from both current students and business mentors. Our Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre launched a Heritage Lottery Funded project to increase the visibility of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage in Greater Manchester. And well done to the 100+ staff teams picking up Green Impact awards for their work on environmental behaviour change in the past year – our most successful year to date!

It’s been a busy month for events on and off campus. United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore visited The University of Manchester for an event to mark 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in December 1948. We hosted a major international gathering focused on post-conflict medical and care systems in Uganda and Sri Lanka in preparation for a major bid to the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). We hosted the first Greater Manchester social enterprise summit on campus, where researchers and social entrepreneurs from the University spoke alongside Mayor Andy Burnham on the importance of this sector to the wellbeing of Greater Manchester. Andy Burnham also attended a conference hosted by our Directorate for Human Resources, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the National Apprenticeship Service to encourage the take-up of apprenticeships among BAME people and those from disadvantage backgrounds. Our Global Development Institute hosted a special screening of the Ugandan film Boda Boda Thieves at the Millennium Powerhouse in Moss Side as part of the ESRC's Festival of Social Sciences. And we were delighted to welcome the Ethiopian ambassador, H.E. Dr Hailemichael Aberra Afework, to spend a day on campus and meet the first Ethiopian Equity and Merit students to come to Manchester.

We have a wide range of upcoming events, talks, exhibitions and performances that staff, students and members of the public can engage with – for more information about taking part, visit our Events Pages. Examples include our Irene Manton Lecture on Tuesday, 4 December with the Linnean Society on the history of women in fieldwork and an evening of storytelling in science at The Birdcage, Manchester, on Thursday, 6 December in partnership with The Story Collider Team.

Finally, there are three things we’re encouraging colleagues at Manchester to consider at the moment. First, do you know a Year 12 (lower sixth) student with parents who’ve not been to University themselves? If so, then you can suggest they apply to our Manchester Access Programme (MAP) before Monday 17 December. If you give to charity, or are thinking of doing it, have you considered payroll giving as a cheaper and more effective method? And finally, we’re encouraging all staff and students to engage with our Speak Up! Stand Up! campaign in collaboration with Manchester Students' Union. This calls upon people to act as active bystanders and take action against harassment, hate crime and sexual violence.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Director of Social Responsibility

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