New report shows how the University of Northampton is creating social innovators

Date 23.12.2015

​The University of Northampton has launched its first Social Impact report. The report showcases just some of the ways in which it delivers social impact locally, regionally, nationally and globally. ​

The University’s socially innovative initiatives and activities, as highlighted in this report, are designed to develop the skills and knowledge of its staff and students so they can be social innovators and make real differences to the communities in which they live and work.

As a result of our work in 2014-2015, social impact is now embedded in the University’s institutional strategy for 2015-2020 Transforming Lives + Inspiring Change. The University of Northampton is totally and publicly committed to being socially innovative in order to deliver social impact.

Some of the key findings from the report include:

  • The University delivered over £800,000 worth of extra-curricular student volunteering to the local community
  • Its Planet Too sustainability initiative engaged 1,423 students since launch in September 2013, with over 400 staff and student landlords working together to provide better quality housing.
  • It has helped more students benefit from a university education, whatever their personal circumstances. 42 per cent of its full-time undergraduate entrants are from disadvantaged groups (The national mean is 33 per cent).
  • The University re-used, recycled or compost 70 per cent of its total waste. Food waste collected from halls of residence and restaurants is used to generate electricity and sends no waste to landfill.
  • Over 60 UK universities have registered to use the University’s unique and interactive Biodiversity Index tool.
  • Over £150,000 of research income was secured by the University’s Institute for Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) to deliver social impact.
  • The University introduced a Social Levy initiative to encourage ‘buying to do good’.
  • The University puts social impact clauses into its tendering process for its new Waterside Campus construction project. It has developed social impact action plans for each of the three major work packages in the Waterside project.
  • Its wholly owned Community Interest Company, Northamptonshire Enterprise Social Enterprise (NESE), has supported a total number of 3,172 unique clients with 15,300 interventions.
  • The University launched a new £8.5m Innovation Centre for entrepreneurs and social ventures seeking to deliver social impact, value and change.
  • The University’s work with Goodwill Solutions has been a significant contributor to the business growing from a £400,000 turnover to one with a turnover of £6m.

Professor Simon Denny, Director of Research, Impact and Enterprise, commented: “We measure our social impact in a more holistic and integrated way than any other HEI in the UK. The information in the report has come from all parts of the University and clearly shows that our Transforming Lives + Inspiring Change strategy is grounded in real and high-impact action. Many thanks to all colleagues that helped produce this report.”

The report is available for download.