We have set up five flagship engagement projects that focus on social and educational inclusion.
There are common threads and key themes running through all the projects, including tackling poverty and inequality, building communities, and health and well-being.
City Region Exchange
This project will study and participate in the development of the Cardiff City Region (a Welsh Government initiative). It will follow the twin tracks of economic growth and social inclusion with action-based research in three key areas:
- a real time evaluation of the progress of the Cardiff City Region building project
- an evidence base for policy interventions focused on the economic development and socio-economic development of the City Region
- use of the City-Region as a 'living lab' to explore the specific role of the University in City Region alliances and relationships.
This project, piloted in Grangetown, aims to forge closer connections between the University and local communities and re-establish our historic role as a civic institution of Cardiff.
This project is split into two phases:
- Phase 1 scoped community and staff interest. It also identified key stakeholders and a working model
- Phase 2 will create a Steering Group (which will include members from the University, the local community and the Council). This Group will select and run approximately five projects in its first year, which are likely to focus on health, environmental and socio-economic issues
Hyperlocal news hubs across Wales have potential to transform the landscape of local news. Most lack an enabling infrastructure to help them grow, thrive and become solidly embedded in their communities.
We are working alongside community news ventures, transferring skills, developing knowledge and offering mentoring and support. This work is also in direct support of the Welsh Government's strategic aims relating to digital literacy and Welsh language strategy.
In the first year of the project, we developed three hubs (two of which are Welsh-medium):
- Pobl Caerdydd (launched June 2013)
- Llais y Maes student run pop-up hyperlocal
- Rhondda People (launched January 2014)
We also established the world's first Massive Online Open Course in Community Journalism, which offers practical skills and insight into this dynamic and fast growing sector.
Strong Communities, Healthier People
This project will build on a ten year legacy of community-based research and Research Council projects.
It will develop a sustainable model of collaborative working and community engagement, which will be piloted in Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff. The lessons learned from the pilot will be used to roll the project out to the remaining Communities First clusters within the University Heath Board's areas.
The project will deliver benefits for both the communities and the University including improving engagement with individuals in communities and groups who traditionally do not connect with higher education.
The Phoenix Project
This project will work in partnership with Welsh Government as part of the Wales for Africa programme and will contribute to the delivery of the Millennium Development Goals in sub-Saharan countries.
The project will identify up to two higher education institutions in the region with which to develop strategic partnerships. These partnerships will have mutual benefits, including supporting the Welsh Government's agenda by increasing the impact of the Wales for Africa programme, and providing us with the opportunity to contribute to programmes such as the Association for Commonwealth Universities' The World Beyond 2015.