First ever Civic University Agreement for Greater Manchester signed

The five higher education institutions of Greater Manchester have launched a flagship agreement with mayor Andy Burnham to work together to drive social and economic change in the city region.

The Greater Manchester Civic University Agreement was signed by the vice-chancellors of the University of Bolton, the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford, the principal of the Royal Northern College of Music and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, alongside the 10 local authority leaders of the city region, at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on Friday 24 September.

Pledges have been made for collective action on six priority areas of education and skills; reducing inequalities; jobs and growth; the digital economy; net zero; and the creative and cultural economy.

These commitments have been made following consultation with political and civic leaders, as well as polling carried out with residents of Greater Manchester. This polling found that the top priorities for people living in the city region were economic growth and reducing unemployment, improving health and wellbeing, addressing the climate crisis, and increasing job quality.

The polling also highlighted that people in the city region recognise the role of universities in meeting these priorities through training professionals to work in public services, creating jobs and opening up access to higher education for young people from across Greater Manchester and beyond.

The leaders of the five higher education institutions, said:

‘We are very proud of the civic role that our universities already play in Greater Manchester and this agreement sets out how we can enhance this through collective action. During the pandemic, our five universities came together in new ways to work collaboratively in meeting the needs of students, staff and our local communities. As we turn to recovery and building back better from Covid, we can be more than the sum of our parts by working together to deliver real and lasting impact for our city region.

‘The Greater Manchester Civic University Agreement is the biggest and most ambitious partnership of its kind in the country covering two cities, eight boroughs and 2.8 million people and outlines how we will work together to level up our city region through innovation, reach our climate ambitions and support the creation of educational pathways into good quality jobs.’

27 September 2021