Signature programmes

We have identified a set of time-bound signature programmes to address a series of social challenges where Manchester can make a significant impact.

Addressing Inequalities in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester is the largest urban economy outside of London, yet many people are unable to fully participate in and benefit from the region’s success. We’re using our expertise to work with public, private and third sector organisations to address some of the most significant issues of equality and fairness across Greater Manchester. We’ve established an Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit, to ensure that poverty reduction is central to the growth and devolution agendas in Greater Manchester. We’re co-producing policy solutions on age-friendly cities, health inequalities, urban governance for social innovation and language diversity. We’re assessing the role of our University as an ‘anchor institution’ in working with a neighbouring community across mutually agreed social priorities. And we’re critically assessing the opportunities and challenges brought about by devolution of specific powers to our region of Greater Manchester.

Ethical Grand Challenges

Tomorrow’s leaders and citizens will inherit a world facing some of the greatest challenges to our human race. Our Ethical Grand Challenges programme enables all our undergraduate students to address some of the most profound ethical challenges of the 21st century. Embedded as a core part of our ‘Stellify’ student pathway, leading to the Manchester Leadership Award, the programme provides every Manchester undergraduate with the opportunity to confront key challenges concerning sustainability, social justice and workplace ethics.

Equity and Merit Programme

In the world’s least developed countries, very few citizens have opportunities to advance themselves and their wider society through higher education study. Our Equity and Merit programme assists academically excellent young professionals from Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania to undertake campus-based postgraduate taught Master’s study for one year. We also offer a choice of online Master’s programmes. The University waives all tuition fees and the generosity of our donors covers living costs, flights and visas.

School Governors Initiative

Volunteer school governors play a crucial role in raising educational standards. The University’s multi award-winning School Governor Initiative contributes to the leadership and improvement of state schools by engaging our staff and alumni in creating the largest growth of school governors of any organisation in the UK.

Cultural Explorers Programme

Access to culture, science and museums still remains the preserve of society’s most advantaged groups. Our Cultural Explorers programme provides a free cultural entitlement for all local year five pupils/nine year-olds to engage in an exciting out-of-classroom learning experience in one of our four University cultural institutions – the Manchester Museum, The Whitworth, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and The John Rylands Research Institute and Library.

The Works

Many people across our local communities face challenges in accessing employment opportunities. As one of the largest employers in our region, with several hundred non-academic job vacancies each year, we’ve proactively established a multi award-winning employment and skills facility called The Works. Developed with the support of the Manchester Growth Company, The Works is a ‘one-stop shop’ facility based in a local community setting, providing thousands of people with ring-fenced access to training, advice and job opportunities – both at The University of Manchester and with a host of other partner employers. This facility is unique in British higher education, has transformed thousands of lives, and is the only employer-led employment and skills facility in the North- West of England.

10,000 Actions

Developed at The University of Manchester, 10,000 Actions is the UK’s largest environmental sustainability initiative for staff in higher education. Many things our staff do in work are already contributing to a more sustainable society. 10,000 Actions supports them to do even more by giving them the chance to learn and take action on sustainability in The University of Manchester.