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Changemaker at the University of Northampton

The University is committed to making a positive social, environmental, cultural and financial impact in the county, the region, Nationally, and Globally. The way we achieve this is through social innovation. In recognition of years of leaderships in the fields of Social Entrepreneurship and innovation the University of Northampton was awarded Ashoka U Changemaker Campus status in 2013, one of only 50 in the world. Changemaker Campuses form a global network of entrepreneurial students, faculties and community leaders who provide inspiration, connections and support to broaden the reach and impact of social innovation around the world, with the aim of making the world a better place to be.

The University also achieved the Social Enterprise Gold Mark in 2017, a prestigious accolade, which demonstrates an organisation has been through a rigorous external assessment process to achieve a recognised social enterprise quality standard.

What is Changemaker

Simply put – Changemaking is about:

“Spotting a social or environmental problem, and having the skills and grit to do something about it.”

What does this mean for the University of Northampton?

The University strategy is to Transform Lives and Inspire Change. We can achieve this through our outstanding teaching and research, the experience we provide for our students and the strategic partnerships we create.  Four Changemaker Challenges have been developed to focus the Universities activity to create real impact within the local community.

These Changemaker Challenges are to use our National and Global reputation and leadership to make a positive contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by:

  1. Contributing to Northamptonshire being the best county in the UK for children to flourish and learn
  2. Contributing to Northamptonshire being the leading county in the UK for Health and Wellbeing
  3. Contributing to the cultural and heritage traditions of Northamptonshire
  4. Contributing to Northamptonshire being the best county in the UK to start and grow a business

Changemaker Values

Changemaker means that as an institution we are committed to a set of values.  We believe that as Changemakers we:

  • Live responsibly
  • Work collaboratively
  • Are resourceful
  • Practice empathy
  • Are true to personal values

In short, we develop our students to ‘do the right things, in the right way, with the right people, for the right reasons”.

Supporting Changemaking

Being a Changemaker Campus means that we provide:

  • Experiential learning – experiences that help students understand more about the world around them and how this connects to their studies and future.  Experiences come in all sorts of forms; volunteering, work based learning, global exchange programmes, exploring enterprise and social innovation and much more.
  • Changemaker events – opportunities to explore Changemaking on campus and in the community. Meet and network with other inspirational changemakers and people from industry. These include Changing Futures Week.
  • Changemaker in the Curriculum – an award-winning concept of embedding Employability and Changemaker into the curriculum for an innovative learning experience that combines social innovation, Changemaker and active blended learning with subject specific knowledge.
  • Employability through Changemaker – an award-winning employability service that helps to join the dots, provides a platform to capture student development, opportunities for paid work, an award to celebrate successes and support to help students understand how Changemaker activities connect with future graduate employability.

Celebrating success

Every year we celebrate the contribution our staff and students make to their communities with our Changemaker Awards ceremony. It’s difficult to single out specific initiatives from the whole range of community Changemaker activities undertaken across the University, but we try. This year’s awards ceremony recognised a diverse range of individuals and organisations that can truly call themselves Changemakers.

Visit our Become a Changemaker page for more information on this process or email

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