A community of scholars or a community hub? Celia Greenway

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The focus of the future of a city based University provides an opportunity to debate its civic function. The University currently contributes to the region’s economic growth and development and works in partnership with businesses, local schools, health and social service provision. Since the EU referendum in June Universities UK has suggested that there could be a greater opportunity for Universities to reconnect with the communities in which they are based. Moreover, HESA recognises that Universities already have a cultural function within communities with over 4 million members of the public visiting University galleries and museums and 2 million attending public lectures (HESA, 2016). Therefore, over the next few years of potential political and economic uncertainty, the sector, and more importantly UoB could be well placed to provide direct benefits to residents and become an important focal point in a community.

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