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Collaborative Newcastle Universities Agreement

26th July 2021

Northumbria and Newcastle Universities announce an innovative new partnership to support the economic and social recovery of our region post-Covid.

Northumbria and Newcastle Universities are today launching the Collaborative Newcastle Universities Agreement – a new partnership that will bring together the world-leading expertise of both organisations for the benefit of the communities of Newcastle and beyond.

Both universities have a long-established tradition of working collaboratively to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of the region.

But the past 18 months have brought into sharp focus the importance of this close partnership; educating the medical and healthcare professionals who have supported the NHS throughout the pandemic, driving forward world-leading research that will help us to combat Covid-19 and supporting the local community.


New agreement

Through the new agreement, the aim is to bring together the collective ‘power’ of both organisations – over 10,000 staff and 50,000 students - to support the health, wealth and wellbeing of people living in Newcastle and beyond.

Professor Andrew Wathey, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University, said: “Given the challenges of the last 18 months, it has never been more important that we work collectively to take on the opportunities and challenges of a post-pandemic future.  This agreement combines the strengths of Newcastle’s two research-rich universities, together with the other key institutions in the City, working together to address the needs of Newcastle and the North East.

“Through this collaboration, our collective world-leading research, ability to attract outstanding students from all walks of life, and support for talented and highly-skilled graduates will have an even greater impact on our communities, as well as on the national and international reputation of Newcastle.”

Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President, Newcastle University, added: “We know that by working together we can be greater than the sum of our parts, providing greater benefits to communities not just to support economic and social recovery, but to build a sustainable and more inclusive future.

“The pandemic has shown us what we can achieve when organisations pull together, drawing on our collective strength and expertise to take us through the crisis and build back stronger and fairer.

“As universities - and major employers - we play a key part in this, both through our world-class research, our students and through the contribution we make to our local communities and the regional economy.”

The new University Agreement is a key part of Collaborative Newcastle - a unique city-wide partnership bringing together the NHS, local government, higher education, voluntary and community sector to work in collaborative and creative new ways to improve health, wealth and wellbeing for everyone in the city.

As part of their commitment to Collaborative Newcastle, the two universities will be working closely with partners in the public, private, voluntary and cultural sector and will focus on three key areas: People, Planet and Prosperity.


Leading role

The universities are playing a leading role in a number of key Collaborative Newcastle projects already underway, including:

  • Net Zero Newcastle - working to reduce greenhouse gases to achieve NetZero and jointly improving the sustainability of our operations and supporting the delivery of the Newcastle Net Zero Action Plan
  • Newcastle Health Innovation Partners – discovering, developing and delivering new solutions in healthcare to improve the health of people living in the North of England.
  • IntoUniversity - A new learning centre designed to support more young people to fulfil their potential and achieve a place at University.

Professor Jane Robinson, Pro-Vice Engagement and Place at Newcastle University, adds: “Everything we do in our universities is for the benefit of society and is driven by the positive impact it will have on people’s lives and the world around us.

“This agreement is about the two universities actively, intentionally and creatively working together on some of the biggest challenges faced by society to bring about real and rapid positive change.”

Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council said: “I am pleased to welcome the Universities Agreement which further strengthens the work of the innovative Collaborative Newcastle partnership.

“Both universities play critical roles in our city, they are world leading organisations that support and inspire residents from across Newcastle. They attract students from across the world to be part of our diverse communities, are a major employer and provide research and insight into many of our major projects. The combined strength of these institutions will help build on the established Collaborative Newcastle partnership and broaden the scope of the work.

“Collaborative Newcastle will continue to focus on supporting the health, wealth and wellbeing of all Newcastle residents, creating new opportunities and working together to shape the city’s recovery from Covid.”

Dame Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive of Newcastle Hospitals, said: “I’m delighted to see the launch of the Collaborative Newcastle Universities Agreement today, the universities’ commitment to Collaborative Newcastle highlights our collective determination to tackle the health inequalities in our region.

“Throughout the pandemic we have worked closely with our partners across the city to manage the impact of Covid-19 and these partnerships will be instrumental in the coming months as we look to the future beyond the pandemic.”

For more information about Collaborative Newcastle, visit:


Case Study: IntoUniversity

New learning centre to create opportunities for thousands of young people in Newcastle

A new learning centre designed to support more young people to fulfil their potential and achieve a place at university will be launched in Newcastle.

The new IntoUniversity centre in Newcastle is a partnership between Newcastle and Northumbria Universities and IntoUniversity - the UK’s largest university-access charity – and will be based at Monkchester Community Centre.

Supporting young people aged between 7-18 in Newcastle, the centre will open in October and provide invaluable academic support, soft-skill development and experience of the world of work to enable young people to achieve a university place or another chosen aspiration.

Funded by the two universities, together with the Buffini Chao Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation and other philanthropic backers, the new centre will benefit over 1,000 students a year, delivering free after-school Academic Support sessions to Primary and Secondary school children, providing aspiration-building workshops and a Mentoring programme with current university students and professionals.

Northumbria University's Director of Strategic Planning, Dan Monnery said: “Northumbria University has an excellent track record for attracting students from all backgrounds and supporting them to succeed at university.

“IntoUniversity demonstrates our commitment to enabling young people to engage with higher education. It will open doors to underrepresented groups, and help deliver life-changing outcomes. We are extremely excited to be part of this collaboration.”

“Students will be able to access the centre for Academic Support after school Monday to Thursday during term time, and workshops with partner schools will run during the daytime throughout the week. The centre will operate alongside the community projects that already take place in the community centre.”

Professor Chris Day, Vice Chancellor and President at Newcastle University said: “As someone born and raised in Newcastle, this initiative is close to my heart as we will be providing opportunities for young people to experience university learning and break down barriers.  This venture is part of our ongoing commitment to improve access to Higher Education for all young people, regardless of their background, and particularly here in the North East which has some of the lowest levels of applications to University in the country.

“Working with IntoUniversity, bringing them into the heart of our community with a model which we know works to improve achievement and aspiration, is truly heartening.”

Hugh Rayment-Pickard, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of IntoUniversity, said: “We're delighted to be partnering with Newcastle University and Northumbria University to work with schools to provide high-quality support to enable young people to succeed.  This work is especially important to provide a boost to many young people who may have lost out on learning during lockdown and because of self-isolation.”

Five full-time members of staff are being recruited and trained to deliver the free after-school sessions to school children, as well as workshops with partner schools that will run during the daytime throughout the week. The centre will operate alongside the community projects that already take place in the community centre.

IntoUniversity centres are based in the heart of local communities and support young people from 7 to 18, working closely with schools and families to sow the seeds of aspiration at a young age. The centre will be IntoUniversity’s first centre in Newcastle and, once established, will benefit over 1,000 students a year.

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