Universities unite to help Notts COVID-19 recovery

In a national first, Nottingham’s two universities are joining forces to help the area recover from the impact of coronavirus.

Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham have launched the Universities for Nottingham Civic Agreement. As part of the collaboration, more than a dozen initiatives are aiming to positively change the lives of people in Nottinghamshire over the coming year.

The University of Nottingham’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shearer West, says the “agreement demonstrates our commitment to working with our City and regional partners to bring about positive change for the people who live, work or visit Nottingham.”

President and Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, Edward Peck, adds that it is “the result of the universities and our partners pulling together to establish not just what we can achieve together, but how we will set about doing so as we help drive local recovery and strive to build back better.”

Six other major organisations in the city and county have also signed the agreement, including both local authorities and NHS organisations.

One of its first objectives is working jointly to ensure the safe return of university students to Nottingham from September. This is in recognition of the important economic boost that students bring to the county, supporting businesses and jobs.

Trainee teachers will also work to support students whose learning has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The universities hope that this will boost the level of educational opportunities available locally.

In addition, the agreement hopes to enhance Nottingham’s reputation as a leader in the fields of health and life sciences. More companies in this sector may then choose to invest or establish new businesses in the city.

The partnership between the Universities was first launched in January. At that time, says Professor Edward Peck, “we could not have envisaged just how essential that collaboration would be to helping our region recover from one of the toughest global economic and social crises it would face.”

“We are at a critical point in global history with our communities experiencing the devastating social and economic repercussions of the pandemic,” adds Professor Shearer West. “Now, more than ever, we need to work together to drive local recovery and renewal.”

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