The University’s Manchester Leadership Programme (MLP) – in which students take part in academic events and community volunteering as part of their degree – is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
It has seen 9,000 students carry out 350,000 hours of volunteering worth £2 million, giving back to society and developing the kinds of skills and experiences that graduate employers seek.
Unique to The University of Manchester, the Manchester Leadership Programme enables students to gain a greater understanding of what it means to be a responsible global citizen.
Not only that, they have been invited to inspiring Tedx style talks from leading Manchester academics and high-profile leaders from the public, private and voluntary sectors, such as world record-breaking yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur, former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy and the University’s own Professor Tony Redmond of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.
Through these they have discovered the challenges facing society in the 21st Century, and the leadership approaches needed to address them.
The programme was founded by Professor Alan Gilbert, the University’s then President and Vice-Chancellor, to improve the students’ experience by encouraging them to develop team work and leadership skills.
And he was right – the programme has been a huge hit with students.
Chris Cotter, who studied French and Spanish and was on the MLP 2012-13, explained: “MLP was one of the interesting things that drew me to Manchester. It made the University stand out from the others I was looking at.”
Employers are impressed too – Ben Hayward, who studied English and Drama and was on the MLP 2006-2007, found he was asked about the MLP by would-be employers even before he had mentioned it.