Civic engagement

Improving lives across our city and region.

Civic and community engagement

As Britain’s first civic university, we were founded by, and for, the people of Manchester. For us, contributing to the wellbeing and prosperity of Greater Manchester is a fundamental part of our purpose.

Civic and community engagement informs and inspires our work in Greater Manchester. Working with our partners and communities, we aim to improve lives across our city and region.

We actively engage and involve the public, creating benefits for the University and wider society.

Connecting, sharing and involving the public with our knowledge, resources and visitor attractions allows us to make a difference across our city region of Greater Manchester, nationally and internationally.

The University is located in a city region of more than 2.7 million residents and in the biggest city economy outside London. As a key ‘anchor institution’ in Greater Manchester, we are committed to improving people’s lives across our region.

Greater Manchester Civic University Agreement

As part of our commitment to civic engagement, we played a key role in the Civic University Commission’s Truly Civic report.

We are a founding member of the Civic University Network that brings together universities, the Universities Partnerships Programme (UPP) Foundation, the Department of Education, Carnegie UK and Arts Council England.

In collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University, Royal Northern College of Music, University of Bolton and University of Salford, we have developed a joint Civic University Agreement with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and its ten local authorities to drive social and economic change in the city region.

Drawing on what people in Greater Manchester told us they value about their universities – training professionals, creating jobs, practical research, opening up access to higher education and attracting talent – we’ve committed to collective action in six priority areas:

  • education and skills
  • reducing inequalities
  • jobs and growth
  • the digital economy
  • net zero
  • the creative and cultural economy.