Engagement and the Idea of the Civic University

  • James Powell
  • Karl Dayson


In the intensely challenging funding situation in which universities and higher education finds itself, universities are having to find new ways to be enterprising without traducing their traditional, distinctive values of independence, and sustaining the interest and commitment of their academic staff. This chapter considers the real process of how a particular university emerges to engage with the demands of the enterprise agenda whilst consolidating on its roots as a Civic University. The chapter places this change in the context of the wider shift in the United Kingdom’s civic universities to engage with the ideal of the entrepreneurial university. The chapter reports the case of the University of Salford and the role played by its Academic Enterprise department in building on its existing strong links with local industry in adapting to the new environment. The chapter argues that although academic leadership can play an important stimulus role, transforming an institution requires sustaining the support of academic researchers. This can be achieved by giving clarity and consistency in the overall institutional message, and also by ensuring that engaged academics are given the opportunity to develop position and prestige in the institution. At the same time, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the best collaborations are based on solving problems of real importance to the community.


Entrepreneurial Academic Loan Officer Academic Enterprise High Education Fund Council External Engagement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SalfordSalfordUK

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