Powerful partnerships for a better future

A ‘town and gown’ meeting for academics and local people to work together to build a better future for Leicester is being held at our University.

Leicester Matters brings together the local community and the University of Leicester to identify ideas for future cooperation.

A Leicester Matters engagement day is being held on Thursday 31 May featuring showcases of existing cooperation and will include the input of Leicester citizens. Participants will form teams to address specific challenges and propose action plans. The best plan will be awarded SEED funding to move ahead. There will also be a showcase of short films, produced by students, that identifies local social challenges within Leicester to find some eye-opening results.

The University of Leicester is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and, as part of the programme, Claire Plumb, Development Worker, Leicester Masaya Link Group will present.

Her presentation, 'Lessons in Sustainability from Nicaragua'  will share positive examples of development projects in Masaya, Leicester’s twin city in Nicaragua, where an integrated approach is enabling communities there and inspiring students in Leicester to play a part in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The event will include showcases of local co-operation involving the University of Leicester.  Amongst them will be the University’s English Language Teaching Unit which has been working in partnership with local charity Leicester City of Sanctuary for the past three years to run free ESOL classes for local refugees and asylum seekers, and also to offer some free places on regular academic English programmes.

To date, the Unit has supported over 250 students through this free English language provision, which has also involved providing resources, teacher training to volunteer teachers, and forging strong links with local charities and community groups. The work has led to the University of Sanctuary initiative, which aims to foster a culture of understanding and welcome for refugees and asylum seekers throughout the University and the wider community. A video presentation featuring students’ film on social challenges will also be shown.