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- Social Impact Statements
The University of Northampton is situated in the heart of England and offers various subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The University is globally renowned in subject specialisms such as Wastes Management, Leather Technology and Fashion. We have over 14,000 students across two campuses just 2.5 miles apart and offer hundreds of courses to meet all needs and interests.
The University of Northampton’s mission is to ‘transform lives and inspire change’. We do this by putting our students at the heart of our strategic plan Transforming Lives + Inspiring Change. As a member of the international Ashoka U group of universities (a designated Changemaker campus, we are committed to our Changemaker values, which focus on higher education to achieve a positive social impact. These values underpin all our teaching, learning, employability, research and enterprise.
As one of the few universities to be ranked Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), we know that sharing knowledge, supporting creativity and striving to make a positive difference will change the future. What motivates us is the drive to help people make the changes that will transform their lives
We are one of the youngest universities in the UK but we are already leading the way in adding value to society, which we call social impact. We have won multiple awards for our work in this area, among others, but what matters the most to us is ensuring that our students and graduates have the opportunity to make their mark on the world too. That’s why we were the first university in the UK to be named as a Changemaker Campus in 2012.
We want to break the mould of what Higher Education can be. This has led us to build a whole new University from the ground up that is designed to reflect the way that you actually learn rather than the way you are expected to learn.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Gold 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 must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
Updated June 2017
1) Transforming lives and inspiring change
Our mission is to ‘transform lives and inspire change’. We do this by putting our students at the heart of our strategic plan 'Transforming Lives + Inspiring Change'.
As a member of the international Ashoka U group of universities (a designated Changemaker campus ), we are committed to our Changemaker values, which focus on higher education to achieve a positive social impact. These values underpin all our teaching, learning, employability, research and enterprise.
We are proud to have achieved our strategic goal to be ‘number one university in the UK for Social Enterprise’; being the only Changemaker Campus in England and one of 37 in the world. Our social impact agenda is well served by our strength in community-based research, identified in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework as world-leading.
As the only university in Northamptonshire, we have embraced our responsibility to lever social outcomes and opportunities for our communities through setting Changemaker Challenges in conjunction with our external partners and the local community. Our students play a key role in helping to design and implement the Challenges, which also carries benefits for our graduates, given the comparatively limited graduate employment in Northamptonshire. We also provide every student with the opportunity to undertake a paid internship, placement or other form of work related learning in a social enterprise and/or community organisation.
2) Social impact and innovation
The University is committed to an holistic approach to delivering an exceptional student experience for all which has Changemaker and social impact at its heart.
Our Changemaker designation recognises the University of Northampton as a leading global institution in social innovation and Changemaking in higher education. The designation affirms that at Northampton we meet the Ashoka u manifesto commitments to:
- Advance higher education as a force for social impact;
- Empower our students to lead and develop social innovation skills and mindset
- Invest in the continuous development of staff as educators and changemakers;
- Build mutually beneficial partnerships with local and global communities;
- Operate in socially and environmentally conscious ways to model Changemaking for students and other institutions and contribute to the vitality of people and the planet;
- Lead by example and actively sharing their learnings and best practices;
- Measure our impact and share results to advance the field of social innovation and Changemaking in higher education;
- Actively support those in the network and beyond, participating in new collaborations that advance the field of social innovation and Changemaking in higher education.
Our work on social impact and innovation is not located in one department or discipline, but is a set of values and principles that underpins everything we do; from the student experience to community engagement, research to extracurricular activities, academic subjects to professional service delivery.
3) Institute for Social Impact and Innovation
Unique to the University of Northampton, the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) aims to evaluate and measure the impact of social innovations in the UK and around the world, while also exploring the financing of, and policy support for, social innovation.
The Institute defines social impact as ‘the economic, social and environmental benefits delivered by an organisation to society’ and views social innovation as any new structure or process that enhances society’s resources and cohesion.
The ISII supports social innovators through the delivery of academic research and consultancy services, including social impact measurement reporting. The Institute collaborates on multi-disciplinary research projects through internal partnerships with other research institutes and centres, as well through external partnerships with other universities and organisations.