Institutional Context


The University of Northampton is one of the youngest universities in the UK but is already leading the way in creating social and financial value to society, we call this social impact. We have won multiple awards for our work in social impact, but what matters the most to us is ensuring that our students and graduates can make their mark on the world. That’s why we were the first university in the UK to be designated a Changemaker Campus in 2013 and our learning and teaching model has been recognised as an international exemplar in the way it embeds social value creation as a core competence.

Institutional Context

The University of Northampton is a public university formed in 1999 by the amalgamation of several training colleges. It gained full university status as the University of Northampton in 2005, and has a long history of placing community engagement and economic development at the core of its mission.

The University has a vital role to play training the workforce of the future; as thought-leaders through our research; and as champions and major employers for our town and region. Our mission is to Transform Lives and Inspire Change by improving the social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing of all of those living, working, and learning in Northamptonshire.

Northampton is part of the government’s South Midlands Growth Area and is covered by the South-East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). SEMLEP’s Strategic Plan explicitly states support for social enterprises as a means of driving social inclusion and generating sustainable economic growth. In response the University’s unique ‘Social Impact’ agenda comprises four interrelated ‘commitments’ for the betterment of Northampton, Northamptonshire and the Region that address economic growth through entrepreneurship, inspiring young people to be better than they think they can be, improve levels of health and wellbeing, and promote the unique culture and heritage of the county. Whilst these ommitments are focussed on our locality, our reach is global and we are uniquely placed to bridge communities both local and global and act as a honest broker to leverage social, economic, and environmental change for the benefit of the communities we serve.

Supported by the Board of Governors, the University Management Team is committed to working in partnership with local employers, communities and stakeholders to create a positive social impact; to be a force for good, and provide leadership when required. We contribute to the creation of the conditions for sustainable growth that balances economic, social, and environmental objectives that focus on people, profit and planet.

In recognition to our commitment to social impact the University of Northampton was the first university to be internationally recognised as a “Changemaker Campus” by Ashoka U in 2013, awarded Social Enterprise Mark Gold status in 2017, and were designated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework for its excellence in learning and teaching in 2017. Our Changemaker Campus designation places us in a unique category of only 50 higher education institutions worldwide that have demonstrated a commitment to public and community engagement that creates social impact and regeneration that benefits both financial, social, and cultural growth of the region.

Our Campus