Lord David Blunkett speaks about how universities can transform communities at LSBU
20 April 2016
The Rt Hon. Lord
David Blunkett, former Secretary of State for Education and Employment, spoke
about the challenges universities face in making a social impact on communities
and improving public services yesterday at London South Bank University (LSBU).
brought together cross-sector specialists, policy-makers and practitioners to
discuss how universities can make a positive impact in local communities and help
shape the growth of cities. The event was held by LSBU and social enterprise Collaborate CIC.
keynote address, Lord Blunkett spoke about how citizens should be empowered to
help asses where money was being spent. He called on universities and other
public bodies to “draw on the wider expertise and life experience of
communities” in order to improve the efficacy of public services.
provided a shared space where participants could explore how universities can
engage with citizens to play an influential role in shaping the higher
education sector and the development of cities.
are about more than the sum of their activities. They should provide a public
good as part of their work and to do so they need to ensure effective
engagement with communities – forming links locally, nationally and
internationally. To impact on the growth
of people and regions we need to embrace the diversity of organisations both
within and beyond the higher education sector and work with communities to
better inform how public services are delivered,” said Professor David Phoenix,
Vice-Chancellor of LSBU.
discussion event will help inform the development of a new Centre that is being
developed by LSBU and Collaborate. The Centre for Urban Collaboration (CUC)
will bring together academic experts, policy-makers, innovative thinkers and
citizens to better inform urban development across the public, private and
capital question sits at the heart of the devolution, growth and public service
reform agendas. To solidify the links between resilient communities and
productive economies, we need established civic institutions to work much
better together across a place. Universities can lead this collaboration - but
they need to take building relationships with unusual suspects as seriously as
their core business," said Dr Henry Kippin, Executive Director of