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Re-inventing the Civic University

22 July 2016

Professor John Goddard OBE, presented a seminar on the re-invention of the Civic University in Cardiff on Tuesday 19 July 2016.

The seminar was hosted by Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning and SPARK (the Social Science Research Park) and held at the Business School’s Postgraduate Teaching Centre.

Professor Goddard, Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University, talked about the drivers and barriers behind universities engagement with civil society.

The seminar expounded on what is meant by the term Civic University, its historic origins, and how it has once again become a focus for Higher Education institutions. Professor Goddard discussed how, in a contemporary context, universities can encourage and enable real and impactful civic engagement that delivers social improvement for their communities.

Professor Goddard posited that a successful Civic University must be transformative and responsive to the society it is a part of, fully engaged with its surroundings and a contributor in economic and social terms. He talked of the internal structures and the financial commitment required to establish a successful civic engagement ethos.

The assembled audience of academics from the social sciences listened intently to Professor Goddard’s presentation and case studies of his work at Newcastle University. The resulting Q&A was lively and thought-provoking, exploring how institutions encourage creativity and engagement while striving for more efficient management and balancing engagement with research and teaching objectives.

The Civic University concept chimes well with Cardiff Business School’s commitment to being a Public Value business school, as noted by Professor Goddard himself. The School is focused on delivering social improvement alongside economic improvement and addressing the grand societal challenges of the 21st century through pro-active and innovative interdisciplinary research and teaching.

Professor Goddard was awarded an OBE in 1986 and the Victoria Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1992. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2004.