Canterbury Christ Church University is essential to the fabric and vitality of our local and regional economy and communities. 

Embedded throughout the region, we innovate to support education, health, public services, industry and communities in their place of need. We develop graduate talent for schools, healthcare and SMEs, and deliver research and innovation to support regional economic growth and prosperity.

We run a vibrant Arts and Culture events programme, collaborating with creatives across the region.

For six decades we have been a major contributor to regional and national public services, with a strong foundation for recent growth and diversification into medicine, engineering, creative and digital to address regional skills shortages while narrowing gender and social participation gaps. We are a trusted partner, a source of talent and innovation, and a stimulus for creative exchange of ideas.

Every year, we create thousands of opportunities for people and organisations to connect. During 2019-2020, we engaged over half a million people in on-campus and sponsored events, contributed almost 13,000 community volunteering hours, and delivered education activities that engaged 800,000+ children and young people.

Key to our role as a civic university are the opportunities to be part of influential networks and organisations to bring about positive and lasting change for our economy and communities.

We actively shape regional and national public policy and debate by being part of strong networks and organisations. Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, is Chair of MillionPlus, a Universities UK Board member and Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.

We’re represented in hundreds of other organisations key to our values and mission, from The Cathedrals Group of Universities and Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC), to Women in Science and Engineering campaign (WISE).

As a significant provider of graduate skills, we also sit on the boards of major employers such as the NHS, clinical commissioning groups, academy trusts, and key economic development agencies. Staff are also active on many school governing bodies in Kent and Medway, as well as helping to influence hundreds of research and teaching networks nationally and globally.

Our strategy continues to be informed by local and regional skills and innovation needs, seeking to widen participation, diversity and sustainability in the workforce, and support regeneration.

Research undertaken in 2014 identified skills and innovation shortages in relation to science, engineering, technology and medicine which led to the development of our flagship Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub, supported by £28million of public and industry funding, as well as private donations.

Similarly, the Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS), a joint initiative with the University of Kent, has secured £20million in external funding and donations. It now provides the largest area of the country, previously without a medical school, with specialist training to retain a vital clinical workforce.

We are part of the Civic Universities Network and Universities Policy Engagement Network, reinforcing our commitment to civic and public engagement,

At a local level, we also advocate on behalf of hundreds of organisations and SMEs, helping them to find the right support and make the right connections.

Sport and active health are key to our education, research and wider public engagement. This includes community participation partnerships with Canterbury Rugby, Football and Hockey Clubs, Invicta Athletics, Kent Cricket, and a major joint facility with the 47 acre Polo Farm Sports Club, as well as work with hundreds of smaller community sports groups.

We also have a shared commitment to widening participation in cricket, sport and education, through our long-standing sponsorship of the Kent Women’s Cricket team.

Our work is all about making a positive difference to people’s lives. The University therefore has extensive outreach and engagement programmes, particularly in Kent and Medway, to help raise aspirations.

Every year, we engage with thousands of people and organisations. From schools, charities, and community groups, to businesses, industry specialists and creative partners.

Major projects to support, inspire and raise aspirations of young people include: the STEM Hub, Community Lab in partnership with Pfizer, Epistemic Insight with the Templeton World Charity Foundation to promote science engagement, Passing on Faith funded by the Douglas Trust to support religious education, and Thinking Differently About the Arts with the Royal Opera House and partners to promote cultural education.

Our largest outreach and engagement programme is in schools and colleges. We are proud of our extensive school and college connections across Kent and Medway, which go back to the 1960s when we started out as a regional centre for teacher training.

Now working directly with more than 200 schools in Kent, Medway, south London and Essex, we’re in touch with thousands of students, parents and teachers, supporting their work in raising aspirations and attainment.

Kent and Medway are geographically and economically important to UK infrastructure and future inward investment.

We are working alongside established and emerging SMEs and industries to secure regional growth and success, particularly in a post-pandemic era. This includes boosting workforce skills with locally-retained graduate talent, and injecting research expertise for innovation and digital transformation.

We have industry hubs and partnerships at key regional locations, from Discovery Park and Ebbsfleet, to the Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise Hub in Canterbury, and Maidstone with the future Kent Medical Campus Innovation Centre.

Our Enterprise team is on the ground supporting SMEs with research, consultancy, graduate skills and networking, while creating new opportunities for collaboration. Industry advisors are also working directly with us in developing education for region’s future skilled workforce in many areas including engineering, medicine, creative industries and life sciences.

Find out more about our work with businesses and industry.

Canterbury Christ Church

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