The guide calls for universities to be more strategic in their approaches to citizen activities. The emphasis is on the principles of place, public, partnerships, measurement and impact. By implementing a gradual process of analyzing local needs and opportunities, it will equip universities with the tools they need to be at the centre of their work. The Civic University Network will work primarily with the CUA signatories in the UK to exchange best practices, including supporting the countries that are signatories to the agreement by organising events, publishing reports and toolkits to guide the development and implementation of the agreement. Long-term funding for our sector will inevitably have an impact on what we can do and the extent to which we can do it. That includes our civic role. In this constraint, however, this assertion is an obligation for us, as autonomous institutions, to continue to serve the educational, economic and social interests of our communities and our place. We will continue to incorporate our civic responsibility into the heart of our actions; Research, education or knowledge sharing. We hope that donors will recognize this and continue to support it. In 2019, Newcastle University and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement held a brief consultation with universities that have worked on citizen agreements.
The consultation included interviews and responses to an online survey conducted by 30 institutions. Consultation participants gave three reasons for preparing the C.C.: „At the UPP Foundation, we know that many universities want to make a real difference to the cities and towns in which they are located. The Citizens` Universities Agreement is an opportunity for British universities to revitalise their civic role, and I am pleased that we have reached this milestone with more than 50 impressive institutions that have registered to date. 2. Our civic role is informed by a factual analysis of the needs of our place, developed in collaboration with local partners and informed by the voice of our local community. The UPP Foundation supports the higher education sector by helping to improve access and connection, improve student employability, improve public universities and develop global citizens. It provides scholarships to universities, charities and other industry organizations and provides industry leaders, experts and the public with a public policy platform to discuss the future of higher education. „Victorian-era bourgeois universities were created as an expression of bourgeois pride and as a means of sharing knowledge and opportunities in a time of rapid change. It was much rarer to see evidence of a civic strategy, supported by rigorous analysis of local needs and opportunities, ambitious goals and a clear plan that made local civic engagement a central part of the university`s mission. This has led the Commission to recommend the creation of agreements through the University of Citizens (CCA).
Lord Kerslake said: „The profound economic and social changes taking place in Britain today have made the civic role of universities in the places where they are more important, in addition to Brexit. Chris Millward, Director of Fair Access and Participation at OfS, said: „The OfS is committed to eliminating inequalities in higher education. We want all students, regardless of their background, to have the same opportunities to get to and succeed in university and to reward their careers. Subsequently, the network will also play the role of political defender of the agenda of citizen universities. This is particularly important given the broad and diverse nature of the role of citizenship in higher education.