Place Category: Education & Training
- Website & Social
- Social Impact Declaration
- Social Impact Statements
The University of St Mark & St John (Marjon) is different. You’ll find our warm and friendly atmosphere makes this a special place to study.
Academically, our University strives for excellence. Our National Student Survey results have awarded us 91% for Student Satisfaction in 2013. This places us in the top 10 of Higher Education institutions in England. In the Sunday Times University Guide, we were awarded 80% for Teaching Excellence in 2012.
As the most experienced teacher training provider in the South West, we have been successfully training teachers since 1840, receiving praise in our Ofsted inspections, including an “outstanding” for our secondary Management and Quality Assurance. We have excellent links with local schools and Marjon is both well known and well respected. With a £20 million investment into our campus and sports facilities, Marjon offers a small, safe and friendly campus with everything you need in one place. The campus investment has seen a new sports centre, refurbished student housing and a new entrance and student centre.
Our staff are passionate about their subjects and work hard to help students to fulfil their potential and succeed in their studies. They provide plenty of contact time in a supportive and friendly environment. We want to ensure that you are well prepared for employment when you graduate, so we make sure that you have all the transferable skills you need, along with practical experience in relevant employment fields. We supply an excellent careers service and the most recent government statistics show that over 90% of our graduates are either in employment or continuing in higher education 6 months after graduation.
Marjon has built a reputation for being ‘small and friendly’. With around 3500 students, our class sizes are small, which means tutors and fellow students will get to know you, but we are large enough to provide excellent facilities and social activities.
No Records Found
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Google Map Not Loaded
Sorry, unable to load Google Maps API.
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 February 2018
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
Our primary purpose as set out in the company’s Articles of Association, is to promote the advancement of further and higher education and the subsequent maintenance and carrying on of the University in accordance with the principles of the Church of England.
Originally established as a teacher training college in 1838, teacher education remains an area of distinctiveness today and from these roots the University has developed a wider range of public sector focussed provision in the fields of Youth and Community, Early Years Education, Speech and Language Therapy, Language Education, Sports Development, Coaching and Physical Education & Outdoor Adventure. This curriculum offer is augmented by the provision in Media, the Arts and Humanities, Business and Management.
Marjon is a values-based organisation and as such, our values are at the heart of everything that we do:-
- Humanity – we are student-centred, making a difference to individuals and society. We create human connections and connectivity.
- Curiosity – we push boundaries and enjoy searching for a better way. We encourage potential and possibility
- Ambition – we achieve more through working together and sharing our achievements. We empower people to be the best that they can be.
- Independence – we nurture self-belief, independence and wellbeing. We encourage diverse views and independent thought.
The University is committed to the continuation of its position in respect of widening participation, with over 97% of students attending the University coming from State Sector schools and almost 40% from lower socio-economic groups; making the University one of the most inclusive institutions in England in 2015/16. As part of its widening participation strategy the University supports the raising of aspiration and attainment through the provision of workshops at feeder schools, mentoring programmes and summer schools, increasing awareness of the benefits of higher education. This ensures that those from traditionally low participation neighbours (below 25% participation levels) are made aware of the choices open to them and supported through the decision making process.
The University works hard to ensure that those students coming to the institution from disadvantaged backgrounds are supported, not only financially through our bursary and scholarship schemes, but by a well-qualified and experienced base of staff, in the professional and support services through to teaching staff. The University has retained Matrix accreditation for our student support services, which includes a financial support team, study skills and a strong disability team.
Most of the University students undertake work placements as an integral part of their programme of study and much of this will be in public sector and voluntary organisations such as schools, youth organisations, the NHS, drama groups and sports clubs. In addition to this the University has a strong culture of student and staff volunteering activities supporting initiatives such as ‘Right to Read’, ‘Country Holidays for Inner City Kids’ and various community projects. Students also have the opportunity to act as ‘student ambassadors’, mentors and ‘student IT support’ workers, working with current students, prospective students and the wider community.
Marjon recognises its role in supporting the socio-economic growth of our region. Within the South West Region of the UK specifically, there is a need for graduate entrepreneurs who are prepared to set up their businesses in this area. The South West Region of England’s entrepreneurial performance is characterised by profitability currently ranked 6th out of 11 UK regions (Barclays, 2016) and has one of the highest employment rates among the English regions and countries of the UK (ONS, 2012). However, three quarters of businesses in the South West employ less than five people (Barclays 2012), and it has the lowest rate of business births in the UK (ONS, 2012). These statistics highlight the need and ability for entrepreneurial activity to develop and thrive in a strong economic environment. Currently, the South West is underperforming in relation to many other UK regions in terms of productivity and profitability with a talent drain away from the area. Such trends need to be reversed and graduates encouraged to undertake entrepreneurial activity in the South West and nationally. Most notably, evidence suggests there is a need for Universities such as Marjon to create graduate entrepreneurs who are prepared to set up and grow their businesses in the South West of England.
As a social enterprise Plymouth Marjon University also embraces the opportunity to support the development of social enterprises and encourages our students in this direction. Values based businesses are increasingly seen as an important way of solving the challenges of our world and whilst there is a growing amount of capital available to support developed enterprises, there is insufficient support to develop a pipeline of early-stage businesses sufficient to match the capital available later. The University is committed to supporting students who wish to start their own enterprises. Startup businesses are essential. They to bring new ideas to life, challenge established industries, increase employment, and drive improvements in productivity and prosperity. Starting new enterprise is vital for innovation and economic growth.
Marjon Sports make an active contribution to the wider community, not only through the sports facilities being made available to community groups and schools locally, but through the supporting of sports within hub clubs, encouraging children from across the City to engage in active sport from a young age to their late teens. During 2015/16 the University-operated clinics have increased their work from the NHS, offering a range of rehabilitation programmes and are undertaking innovative work with the Macmillan Cancer Support, supporting patients in improving their health and wellbeing.
The Chaplaincy provide regular opportunities for worship for members of the wider community, deliver lectures and events and undertake an annual programme of work supporting assemblies in primary schools across the region with student volunteers.
From a cultural perspective the University hosts an annual lecture series that is open to the public, lets out its drama facilities at cost of below to local community drama groups and has an open access policy for use of the library and learning resources centre.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
The University is committed to the continuation of its position in respect of widening participation, with over 95% of students attending the University coming from State Sector schools and almost 40% from lower socio-economic groups; making the University one of the most inclusive institutions in England in 2013/14. They support the raising of aspiration and attainment through the provision of workshops at feeder schools, mentoring programmes and summer schools, increasing awareness of the benefits of higher education. This ensures that those from traditionally low participation neighbourhoods (25%) are made aware of the choices open to them and supported through the decision making processes.
The transformational impact of the University was highlighted in a report titled Higher education as a Tool of Social Mobility (Centre Forum 2014), where the University of St Mark & St John was identified as the top university for social mobility, reflecting the high percentage of students from poorer backgrounds securing graduate jobs after leaving the University.
The new Plymouth Marjon University Business School and it’s Enterprise Hub – The Edge is dedicated to supporting students and local entrepreneurs with their values-based businesses, from the initial idea and launch, all the way through to growing and scaling a sustainable enterprise. The benefits of supporting new business though the early stages has long been recognised but the focus is changing from solely supporting the enterprises to survive their formative years, rather to adding value to them and maintaining longevity ensuring that benefits go beyond the direct impact on the entrepreneur but accrue to stakeholders in the wider community, having an impact on the culture of social entrepreneurship that is already present in the Plymouth area. Working on the belief that everybody has something to learn, The Edge is unique in that every activity is open to all, whether student or member of the public, regardless of the academic discipline or sector.
The University has retained Matrix accreditation for our student support services, which includes a financial support team, study skills and a strong disability team.
Most of the University’s students undertake work placements as an integral part of their programme of study and much of this is in public sector and voluntary organisations such as schools, youth organisations, the NHS, drama groups and sports clubs. In addition to this, there is a strong culture of student and staff volunteering activities supporting initiatives such as ‘Right to Read’, ‘Country Holidays for Inner City Kids’ and various community projects. Students also have the opportunity to act as ‘student ambassadors’, mentors and ‘student IT support’ workers, working with current students, prospective students and the wider community.
The University has developed a wide range of public sector focussed provision in the fields of Youth and Community, Early Years, Education, Speech and Language Therapy, Language Education, Sports Development, Coaching and Physical Education & Outdoor Adventure.
Marjon Sports make an active contribution to the wider community, not only through the sports facilities being made available to community groups and schools locally, but through the supporting of key sports within hub clubs, encouraging children from across the City to engage in active sport from a young age to their late teens. During 2013/14 the Sports department have increased their work with the NHS, supporting a range of rehabilitation programmes and are undertaking innovative work with the Macmillan Cancer Support, supporting patients in improving their health and wellbeing.
From a cultural perspective the University hosts an annual lecture series that is open to the public, lets out its drama facilities at cost or below to local community drama groups and has an open access policy for use of the library and learning resources centre. The University will continue to produce graduates whose primary role will be to work within and enhance the output of the public sector, and as an institution continue to provide a broad range of public benefit to our community.
The University has invested £1.6m into a doctoral fellowship scheme that is designed to support non-academics into teaching and research pursuits within the university.
The University has also committed to supporting an academic migrant in immediate danger, to come to the campus to work and study.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
As a result of the work, monitoring and continuous evaluation and improvement at Plymouth Marjon University it has been recognised that the creation of a new Business School and Enterprise Hub, The Edge will be of benefit to the communities in which the University operates.
Launching in summer 2018, The Edge is dedicated to supporting students and local entrepreneurs with their values-based businesses, from the initial idea and launch, all the way through to growing and scaling a sustainable enterprise. Its impact will be monitored and reported annually.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
Many of the statistics that we gather are measures of social impact. For example:
- Student employability and geographic location after attending university
- Interactions with industry and the wider community through Knowledge Exchange
- The detailed impact of our research as reported through the Research Excellence Framework
- Student social mobility
- The impact of our health related activities including cancer clinics and physical activity programmes that are open to the public and/or upon referral
- Marjon makes use of Chatback, technology which allows students to have their say and seek immediate feedback
- The Edge will undertake an annual review in which not only will the impact of the centre be reviewed in terms of its engagement with and work to support students, staff, the community and clients, but the wider impact of any start-up social enterprises supported will be considered
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.
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
BEd (Hons) Primary Education Student
“After dropping out of college, I was unsure what my path in life was. Despite my own struggles with school and college, I knew that I wanted to help others learn. I started working in my local primary school as a teaching assistant, developing a taste for inspiring and stimulating learners.
Things took a turn for the worse when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), suffering from spates of temporary paralysis. After my diagnosis, I wanted to push myself and I completed a Social Sciences access course.
Throughout this journey, I met many inspirational teachers, many of whom had studied at Marjon. Even though I knew I couldn’t live the typical student lifestyle, I knew that Marjon would accept me for who I was. Now, in my second year of BEd (Hons) Primary Education, I have been taught to work with my illness, developing my style of teaching through the help of the experienced staff, committed students, guest speakers and limitless resources.
Marjon has taught me to focus on what I want and although it will be sad leaving next year, I will always be part of the family here. With my marriage fast approaching, I am excited for what the future brings and my journey further into education.”
BA (Hons) Sport Coaching Student
“I was seven when my mum died, and I had to move from Pakistan to England with my younger sister to live with my dad. It was hard at first, not speaking the language, but I remember a bunch of lads asking me to play football and from then on I started to learn English and make really good friends.
Since then, I love getting out of my comfort zone. I chose Marjon so I could study abroad. I’m in Pennsylvania now for my second year. I love meeting new people, learning about new cultures, and hearing people’s stories. I’m making friends from all over the world. Last week I got asked to a mate’s parents’ house for Super Bowl. There were about 30 people there and it felt brilliant to be doing something like that, to see it from the inside.
Sport has been really important to me in making me feel at home. I want to research more into how sport brings people together and breaks down cultural barriers. When I finish my degree I want to train to be a PE teacher.”
“I am the founder of Dangerous Dads, which I set up in 2007 after becoming a dad and taking my little girl to a number of different children’s groups and activities. Each time I went along I found the environments to be very female focused, making it difficult to integrate. This along with my love for the outdoors sparked my idea for creating Dangerous Dads.
Dangerous Dads run regular, fun, free activities for children of all ages and their dads, uncles, stepdads or granddads to reconnect families with each other and the local environment. I started it in my local town of Totnes, but it took off and exceeded my expectations and we now have over 20 groups across the UK and internationally.
We also run an annual Dadfest event which recently won a National Outdoor Events Association award. The judges praised the event for ‘understanding its community and speaking to it. It has a clear vision, is innovative and reflects part of society in its representation ....and how can you go wrong with dad dancing?’
I am now studying for a PhD at Plymouth Marjon University researching the potential of simple outdoor activities to help fathers develop positive parenting behaviours and help strength the bonds between dads and their children. Marjon has allowed me to study my passion, while continuing to run Dangerous Dads and spend quality time with my family.”