Universities are renowned for involving themselves within their local communities, and are known for becoming key stakeholders for leading innovation, generating employment and facilitating social cohesion using the talents of its staff and students.
So much so, that in February 2019, 30 universities signed a pledge called the Civic University Agreement that aims to put issues such as quality of life in the local community and economy as priorities for universities. Queen Mary was a signatory of this pledge.
The Civic University Agreement was created out of a partnership between local government and major institutions, also emerging from a report published by the Civic University Commission chaired by Lord Kerslake.
Queen Mary has always been committed to the local community of Tower Hamlets, for example through organising the ‘Festival of Communities’ designed to encourage people to explore living and learning within the borough. The festival aims to showcase the best research and projects carried out at QM as well as offering local residents the opportunity to connect with 40 local partner organisations.
At the time of signing the pledge; Principal Colin Bailey said ‘We look forward to continuing to work with our local community and building upon these firm foundations with the Civic University Agreement.’
The Students Union can also help Queen Mary to meet the pledge, for example through the events put on during Black History Month, which could be opened up to the local community. Tower Hamlets has always been welcoming to QM so it’s our turn to welcome the local community into the world of Queen Mary and offer opportunities to learn and explore.