UK-first training to get under the skin of ‘town and gown’ relations
This November, for the first time in the UK, people working for universities and local authorities are getting the chance to take a course which will let them explore the complex relationships between ‘town and gown’.
The Certificate in Town Gown Relations is designed for professionals managing off-campus relations in university communities. It will be delivered for the first time in the UK as part of a conference organised through the UK Town and Gown Association (UKTGA), a body set up by Manchester Student Homes, which is a jointly funded department of The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University
The Certificate focuses on complex opportunities, challenges and processes associated with city and university relationships to identify, foster, and promote skills necessary for the effective development of collaborative partnerships throughout university cities.
Currently, Poppy Humphrey - Off Campus Student Affairs Officer for Manchester Student Homes – is the only person in the UK to have this accreditation, which is provided by the US-based International Town and Gown Association.
Poppy said: “The Certificate has definitely helped to professionalise the approach to managing off campus issues. Working with colleagues from across North America has really broadened my knowledge, and helped form a network of colleagues with whom to share leading practice.”
There are many agencies involved in this process up and down the country, so to bring them all together at an event like this has great potential for addressing the age-old issue of ‘town and gown’
The UKTGA has been in existence since 2015 and the conference in Belfast (18-20 November) will be its third. Previously more than 400 people have attended these events, including council officials, police officers and delegates from universities all over the world.
This year, headline speakers will talk about issues such as recycling and reusing student waste, licensing of multiple occupancy homes, anti-social behaviour and promoting safety in the night time economy.
Cooper Healey, Chair of the UKTGA and Manager of Manchester Student Homes said: “Students bring a great many benefits to the UK’s towns and cities, not only economically but also culturally. The aim of this conference is to help all of the delegates learn new ways to support students as they move to a new town and integrate with the existing community.
“There are many agencies involved in this process up and down the country, so to bring them all together at an event like this has great potential for addressing the age-old issue of ‘town and gown’.”
The Conference runs 18-20 November at Queens University, Belfast.