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- Social Impact Declaration
- Social Impact Statements
The University of Winchester has been in the business of Higher Education for over 170 years.
The University is a values-driven institution which offers excellent programmes of study sustained by teaching and research of the highest quality. Our values underpin all that we do – our teaching and learning, our research, and our flourishing partnerships, which are increasingly global in reach.
Our mission is “To educate, to advance knowledge and to serve the public good”. The value of social justice is at the core of our work and we seek to extend and employ the resources of the University in ways which address in equalities and encourage the development of potential, wherever it is found.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated June 2021
1) What are the main social differences you have aimed to make (or supported)?
The University of Winchester is the University for sustainability and social justice. Our Strategic Vision 2030 sets out our commitment to educate, research and operate in ways that enhance the natural world and help people and communities flourish.
To this end, we have aligned our strategic vision with the target date for the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have developed a suite of actions and approaches that make our contribution to the achievement of the SDGs explicit and accountable. This is true in our education, where we have been recognised through the NUS Responsible Futures accreditation for embedding sustainability and social responsibility in all our programmes; it is true in our commitment to carbon neutrality by 2025 and our actions to reduce unnecessary plastic to zero; and it is true in championing and supporting sustainability in our community, for example through our designation as a UN PRME Champion – one of only a few universities globally.
Everything that follows in this section is a reflection of our all-pervading dedication to the cause of sustainable and just living for all life.
INTERNATIONAL LEADER IN UNITED NATIONS PRINCIPLES FOR RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT EDUCATION (PRME)
The Centre for Responsible Management, part of the University of Winchester Business School, brings together private, public and not-for-profit sectors to develop a community of practice dedicated to the creation of a more equitable and sustainable economy and society. It does this by developing responsible leaders, conducting practical research and building a responsible management community.
The most pressing problem that the Centre is seeking to address is improving the lives of all people through a resource and carbon-controlled world, helping current and future generations with their understanding and being able to take action on that. For the purpose of this nomination, there are two key areas of work that we especially wish to highlight to demonstrate the Centre’s effectiveness and outcomes. Winchester has been a signatory organisation since 2008 and Winchester Business School also hosts the PRME UK and Ireland Regional Chapter, of which Professor Parkes is Chair.
In 2017, Professor Parkes was made a Special Advisor to the UN for PRME. Winchester was invited to submit a short film about the Business School which was shown to over 400 delegates. Winchester academics led the forum’s first main plenary session on pedagogy, as well as other sessions for the Fighting Poverty as a Challenge for Management Education Working Group and the PRME Regional Chapter. The forum also witnessed the launch of a 10th Anniversary PRME special issue of the International Journal of Management Education edited by Professor Parkes with Professor Anthony Buono of Bentley University, USA and Professor Ghada Howaidy from the American University in Cairo. This special edition brings together contributions in research from across the globe on the challenges in responsible management education.
Reflecting on what has been achieved since PRME and looking forward to PRME’s next decade, the edition is informing and shape future research and practice. Beyond its students, Winchester is actively engaging the business community.
In April 2018 the Centre for Responsible Management offered a ‘Making global goals local business’ roadshow for local and regional businesses in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has also supported individual sustainable businesses to increase their reach and all Centre staff conduct research into responsible management. Topics include poverty, green spaces, climate change education, ethics, responsible leadership, sustainability and social responsibility.
In 2018, the University was recognised by the United Nations for the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Education Secretariats for our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.
2) What actions have you taken to deliver the aims described above?
OUR SUSTAINABILITY JOURNEY
As highlighted in our strategic plan, sustainability and global sustainability are at our heart. We have been an integral part of the City of Winchester’s community for over 175 years and take very seriously our continuing responsibility to this and the wider ‘Society’. A key part of our mission is ‘to serve the common good’ and this is lived through numerous initiatives to engage with and enhance both our local and wider communities.
We see widening participation in HE as beneficial to ourselves and to the wider UK economy and society. We strive to remain an exemplar of environmental sustainability. As well as taking steps as an organisation to reduce our impact on the environment, we aim to develop our students’ understanding of global issues, including climate change.
In 2018 we developed a sustainability statement “To us sustainability means living in harmony, acting with kindness, and caring for all living things, now and for future generations” This statement was developed collaboratively with input from 100 staff, students, and community members. Their responses were collected online and in person from January – April 2018. It articulates a shared vision for sustainability and deepens our joint ownership across all parts of the university and student union community. The document was signed by our VC and the President of the Students Union, in recognition of the shared commitment of all students and staff.
In October 2018, the University was announced as one of the “Future-Fit Five Universities”, with the CEO of the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education (EAUC) highlighting our “consistent winning of the Green Gown Awards and public commitment to staff and student carbon literacy or low and zero carbon buildings”.
Target reductions have been set for carbon emissions, energy and water consumption, leading to a reduction of 45% in carbon emission since 2006, with a strategic target of –65% by 2025.
The University has won the City of Winchester’s Gold Award in the Carbon Smart Environment Awareness scheme and have an ambitious target of being the most efficient.
We are leading within the sector for sustainably sourcing its food. Since 2014 we have been awarded the 3-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Gold/Silver/Bronze Awards from the Soil Association, the Good Chicken/Egg and Dairy awards from Caw, Green Impact Gold winner’s status and we have been a Fair-trade university since 2007. We also won the National Recycling Awards 2018.
Winner of Campaign of the Year – Public/Third Sector. The University of Winchester - ‘Chew fancy a brew?’ - A coffee cup campaign and were listed in the Top 20 Restaurants in the Good Made Good Awards 2018. We have good engagement with external Partner and Societal stakeholders through active involvement in the governance and management of a wide range of organisations e.g. Barton Farm Academy, WinAcc and Juniversity.
Widening participation is a key tenet of our strategy. We have numerous initiatives in place to encourage those who are under-represented in HE to progress to HE. These include bursaries and awards for those with obstacles to entering HE and schemes such as Compact Partnerships (CP) with schools and colleges in the Southern Region, where the University provide opportunities for their students who may need additional support to progress to HE. We have invested with the local council in shared sports facilities; this includes the shared sports stadium (Bar End), which is highly utilised by the local community.
The University and Winchester City Council are working together on a project to enhance these facilities for both user groups to encourage their even greater participation in sporting activities. We encourage staff and students to be involved in the community through a wide range of activities supported by the Community Impact Strategy.
Staff are encouraged to work as teams in the community, e.g. decorating, marshalling events. The Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) scheme is used to help staff engage with these opportunities. Students are also encouraged to volunteer, e.g. in Winchester City Museum, or can opt for a more formal volunteering role through accredited volunteering modules. We conduct a local community stakeholder survey, and this serves as a very efficient monitor of our achievement of its Mission to ‘serve the common good’ and Community Engagement strategic objective. The survey also highlights areas of concern and allows a communication channel of ideas and recommendations to flow between the respondents and our internal structure.
In 2019 the survey was externally reviewed and refined. Our new research Centre for Climate Action (Change Education and Communication) looks to inspire research into initiatives that tackle climate change and help increase quality education worldwide, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“The University of Winchester has long been leading the way in sustainability. This Whole Earth Festival is an exciting culmination of several new initiatives to scale up our efforts in this critical work. The launch of our new climate change research centre is the latest development which will ensure the University continues to be an important contributor in the debate around climate change” Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter
SERVICES WE PROVIDE AND INITIATIVES WE SUPPORT
The Centre for Climate Action is engaged with local, national and international community partners. Acting as a hub for community and professional action to help to mitigate and adapt to global warming, we provide the opportunity for groups to connect and to start projects with impact. An example of this is our work with the Harmony Project. Working with national partners such as the Sustainable Food Trust, The Princes Foundation and the NUS Charity Students Organising for Sustainability. We are working through our centre and Faculty for Education to embed the principles of harmony (geometry, interdependence, the cycle, diversity, health, beauty and oneness) into our primary education work, and more widely into Higher Education.
Taking a business lens, the Wessex Green Hub works with local businesses and students to embed sustainable business practices and learning through a community of practice of partners including: Winchester City Council and six core businesses.
The University works in partnership with the Carbon Literacy Trust to offer carbon literacy training. The trial cohort has passed and are engaged in carbon reduction projects.The Sulitest from the United Nations Global Compact is available for students to test their sustainability knowledge and provides access to key materials.
Other notable partnerships include:
- Gilbert White House and Gardens – the home of ecology
- Winchester Green Week Improvement Community of Practice
We are engaged in providing services for our communities through the ‘community of practice’ model. We run an Improvement Community of Practice for all sectors, bringing together all sectors to build knowledge and expertise in transformation, improvement and the eradication of waste. The list of CoP events can be found here.
Our Sustainability Community of Practice invites University and community partners to build sustainability into their products and services. The list of CoP events can be found here.
The University is also represented on the Lean in Higher Education global and Europe steering group, which is an organisation transforming Higher Education across the globe. The University of Winchester was the first British University to achieve accreditation for the Lean Competency System professional qualification which is offered to our colleagues and students. The Nursing programme and Operations Management module have embedded this within their assessment pattern.
We are particularly proud of our work supporting student volunteering. A volunteering module is available to students, which provides accredited volunteering as part of a degree programme. The University also funds Winchester Hub, the local branch of the national charity, Student Hubs. Through the Hub students are able to tackle social challenges and make a positive difference to the lives of others, while developing their own skills and potential.
3) What has changed, what specific outcomes and benefits have been realised as a result of the above actions?
Please see above for general impacts and outcomes.
Further highlights include:
- Reducing elderly isolation through the voluntary LinkAges programme
- Reducing the risk of secondary stroke, and improving health, socialisation and wellbeing through the HELP Hampshire Stroke Clinic
- Improving integration, education and wellbeing of forced migrants through the work of our Forced Migration Network
- Improving the lives of under-represented groups through pioneering work with care leavers, young carers and the children of serving and ex-Armed Forces personnel
4) Please describe how your income and/or any profits generated from previous years has been maximised in delivering social outputs and adding social value.
The University makes donations and sponsorship to local organisations that share the object of the University. This includes numerous local schools and colleges where the University sponsors awards, activities and sports.
Unlike a ‘for profit’ organisation the University ploughs all its surpluses back into enhancing student and local community provisions. Indeed, our investment in our new West Downs building, including a public gallery, has resulted from such re-investment of our historic trading surpluses.
As well as providing university resources to WinACC (mentioned in Q45) the University provides careers facilities and supports its student social value through financially supporting extra-curricular sports facilities and student clubs. The University also provides a programme of open lectures to support the social value of the local, and indeed wider, interested audience. The University also supports various disadvantaged groups of students, from asylum seekers to care leavers, investing £2,326,000 (2018/19) in fellowships, bursaries, scholarships, prizes and other awards to students.
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
The Strategic Vision sets out the University’s vision to “help shape a better world through everything we do, driven by the ambition, wisdom and impact of our students and staff”. To achieve this, the Strategic Vision 2030 document states “we will be guided by our values and a strategic vision framework that has the threads of excellence in education, sustainability and social justice running through it”. The strategic vision framework outlines the 36 objectives that will guide our focus over the next decade under the headings: flourishing people and communities; transformative education, research and innovation; and organisational excellence.
The development and launch of the Strategic Vision and accompanying Business Plan provided the opportunity to bring together all parts of the institution to aspire to and plan under a shared understanding of what success looks like.
What has changed as a result?
- We have a clear narrative and focus that helps frame staff/student engagement and faculty/departmental strategies and development plans.
- We have a greater shared understanding of financial plans and what is needed to deliver against these (for example, previously, different student number targets were being used in different areas of the institution).
- We have continued to work collaboratively across different departments and the faculties to ensure we are working towards the same goals that help achieve the Strategic Vision – and in doing so, tying together the Business Plan and the Strategic Vision.
- We have been able to prioritise areas of work that help deliver the Strategic Vision and say ‘no’ to areas of work that do not (together with associated costs).
Revitalising the Annual Operating Statement process
Previously, ‘Annual Operating Statements’ were the main mechanism for faculties and professional service departments to report against their performance on the previous year and to set out plans for the coming year. These reports were worked on in isolation and a combined version was reviewed by SMT each year. Following the launch of the Strategic Vision and the collaboration approach to its development, we have been able to build on the cross-institutional work of the Strategic Vision and Business Plan to adopt a new approach to the Annual Operating Statement process. This has brought together the plans outlined in the Business Plan under the objectives set out in the Strategic Vision; a steer given by Board last year.
Earlier in the year, sub-groups of leaders within different parts of the institution were brought together to develop and agree relevant plans for each of the objectives in the Strategic Vision. What we have now is a joined-up, overarching report that sets out plans against each of the objectives with progress easily tracked. In addition to this process, the University’s internal governance structures are also focused on reviewing delivery against the Strategic Vision and Business plan. Summarised below:
- SMT – meets weekly to review reports and discuss mitigation against key targets including student recruitment, retention, finance, staff and student wellbeing.
- UMG – SMT plus Deans meeting monthly to review the same targets and wider student experience and academic issues.
- Senate – bi-monthly meetings with SMT, Deans, academic members of staff and relevant Directors to discuss academic areas of development to meet the objectives of the Strategic Vision.
- Planning and Resources Committee – SMT, Deans and Directors of Professional Services with a particular focus on the Organisational Excellence aspects of the Strategic Vision.
- In addition, there are numerous committees and project groups focused on specific aspects of the Strategic Vision where improvement and change is required, for example the Graduate Employability and Higher Study Strategy Group and the Student Experience Excellence Strategy Group.
6) How many people have benefitted from your actions and what measures of benefit can you report?
Building on the work of our Flourishing Communities programme, and following the review of institutional activity, we have developed a Flourishing Communities Evaluation Framework, which lays the foundation for a coherent approach to measuring our impact. As noted earlier, we are in the process of commissioning an independent agency to undertake the first Social Impact Measurement Report, which builds on our framework. Until this is completed, we have no centrally coordinated database of outcome and impact measures for our social justice and flourishing communities activity. However, various highlights of our activity, including the impact it has, can be found on the Research and Knowledge Exchange pages of our website.
7) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that help illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
Students are the principal focus of our services. Extensive consultation initiatives with students (both current and future) have told us that they value being part of the University because of the values to which we hold. They come to Winchester because they want to learn and develop in an environment where they can be themselves and be valued for their individuality. They know they will be cared for and matter. They know that sustainability and social justice are not epithets, but practically felt in the curriculum, and that they will be provided and supported to access opportunities to apply their skills and energy to furthering these priorities through accredited volunteering, mutually supportive networks and groups, and through their learning and research.
For example, the Morph Education Group is a collaboration of students and staff with dyslexia. Meeting regularly under their own terms, the group have provided an invaluable and safe space to share experiences of living with dyslexia, provide support to each other through open sessions, facilitated by students themselves, and challenge and change the norms of education and learning.
Other students, like Sam Jenkins, have thrived thanks to the opportunities to create and lead socially-oriented initiatives like the Volunteering and Community Champions Awards – an initiative of his own design. It is not untypical for students to provide the drive and leadership for the creation of such initiatives, which translate the values and passions they share with the University into action. The awards received financial support from a student-focused council and a local charity and, under Sam’s leadership, brought together staff, students and local community partners to recognise and celebrate the impact of volunteering and community initiatives.