The University of Northampton’s has just launched a new strategy, ‘Raising the Bar’, which sets the sets a new and unique direction for a UK University: ‘to be the top university in the UK for social enterprise by 2015’.
We are setting out on this journey for two reasons: firstly, we strongly believe we must provide an education that prepares our graduates for the new world of work, a world in which social enterprise is an increasingly important part; and secondly, because we are committed to playing an active part in the improvement of our local community.
The implementation of Northampton’s social enterprise strategy has three main elements: a new student offer; the integration of social enterprise into teaching and learning and research throughout the university; and a long-term strategic project with local authorities, businesses, the third sector, and individual citizens throughout Northamptonshire, delivering significant improvements to the life of the county through support for decentralisation through social enterprise and the building of social capital.
As part of this we are pioneering ‘We Do Ideas’. We know that all social enterprises start with an idea and We Do Ideas provides the platform for our students to share and develop their ideas into viable, income generating social ventures. At the heart of this venture is Wray Irwin, our Social Entrepreneur in Residence (SeiR) who is instrumental in delivering radical change and improvement in service development and employment opportunities across Northamptonshire, in line with the University’s Strategic Plan and vision for social enterprise.
The appointment of a SeiR and the ‘We Do Ideas programme’ highlights Northamptons commitment to social enterprise.
‘It is an appointment for the county as well as for the University.’
Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of The University of Northampton
For further information: http://www.northampton.ac.uk/info/200332/social-enterprise