Civic University Agreement for Bristol

We believe that as a global civic institution the University of Bristol can make a positive impact locally, nationally and globally by convening conversations and driving action to address the challenges ahead.

By formally strengthening our partnership working with this Civic University Agreement (PDF, 2,978kB) (CUA), we will work with University of the West of England, City of Bristol College, Bristol City Council, and the City Office to co-create a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous future.

This partnership delivers many positive benefits to the city of Bristol including new jobs, apprenticeships, research collaborations and educational opportunities.

It provides a strong foundation for each organisation to work more closely together, using their combined resources and networks, and building on many existing projects and the One City Approach, to make Bristol fairer, healthier, and more sustainable.

Our collaborative principles

To ensure our commitments deliver against the real priorities of the region, we identified these focus areas as our collaborative principles:

  • Economy, skills and employment
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Climate, sustainability and the built environment
  • Effective leadership and advocacy for the city
  • Enabling through partnership and community

The CUA takes as its background the fact that Bristol is a vibrant, fast-growing city with opportunities for many.

The employment rate is the highest in the UK and it is internationally leading in several rapidly growing and innovative sectors.

However, these strengths live alongside entrenched inequalities including stark differences in educational opportunities for Bristol’s young people. Depending on where they live, progression rates to higher education range from less than 10% in some areas to 100% in others.

Delivering on the Civic University Agreement for Bristol

Collaborative initiatives the CUA partners are working on include:

  • Supporting the creation and running of the City Office via ongoing funding (2021 to 2024) and extensive input.
  • Collaborating on the University of the West of England led Future Quest to foster long-term relationships with young people.
  • Forming a joint vision and commitment to develop the University of Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, ensuring benefits for local communities and the wider city.
  • Developing the strategic Bristol Health Partners collaboration that supports all those in the city and region to live longer and lead healthier lives, improving how services are delivered.
  • Building on previous programmes to improve staff and student mental wellbeing, and develop a community of practice to share support and good practice across the city.
  • Developing and being core partners of Bristol Future Talent Partnership, whose mission is to end the longstanding multiple inequalities and underrepresentation faced by people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the city, particularly in education and employment.
  • Facilitating the Bristol Race Equality Strategic Leaders Group. The group considers issues raised in the Bristol Manifesto for Race Equality and has undertaken work looking at the diversity of employees in the public sector and the ethnicity pay gap.
  • Collaborating on a raft of initiatives to address participation inequalities in further and higher education. Supporting students from various and diverse backgrounds to transition into, through and beyond education.
  • Forging the Social Mobility Innovation Partnership, bringing together community partners, policy makers, city leaders, local industry and researchers to analyse barriers to social mobility. The partnership establishes which barriers can most effectively be tackled, co-creates interventions, and evaluates the impact of these solutions.
  • Opening up the City of Bristol College estate and infrastructure to the wider communities, with a particular focus on South Bristol.
  • Working to address equality, diversity and inclusion barriers by developing a strong apprenticeship offer in the city which is promoted and available to all.
  • Building on Bristol’s collective successes in sustainability, including as the UK’s first European Green Capital, ensuring we stay at the forefront of climate and environmental policies and action.

Oversight and progress of the Civic University Agreement

A Civic University Agreement Steering Group will be formed to oversee our activities and initiatives, identify opportunities, and review progress.

Setting up later in 2023 and meeting quarterly, we will update relevant stakeholders and share case studies publicly.

The CUA partners will continue to collaborate more widely across the city, working on specific projects with many communities and partners.

Collaborative partnership

  • University of Bristol logo. Visit the University of Bristol homepage.
  • University of the West of England logo. Visit the University of the West of England website.
  • City of Bristol College logo. Visit the City of Bristol College website.
  • Bristol City Council logo. Visit the Bristol City Council website.
  • Bristol One City logo. Visit the Bristol One City website.

We welcome any feedback and offers of involvement. Email:

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