Only for use on UoP social media and website. Must credit  or tag "@dwardle1988 / Instagram" with each usePictures of Portsmouth and Southsea taken by Dan Whardle (alumni)

Becoming a Civic University

We're promoting inclusion and enriching economic, social and cultural life across Portsmouth and our region

We're committed to enhancing the local community and region through our research, services, estate, and staff and student collaboration. We're more than the University of Portsmouth — we're the University 'for' Portsmouth.

What is a Civic University?

Our goal as a civic university is for our education and research knowledge and skills to benefit the city of Portsmouth and our wider region. To achieve this, we collaborate with local partners to improve health, sustainability, and inclusion in our area, all while boosting the local economy and enhancing our social and cultural scene. 

In 2019, we were one of the first universities to develop a Civic Partnership Agreement with local community and regional partners. This agreement focuses on six key priorities, which we embedded into our University Strategy as a primary goal — aiming to be one of the top civic universities in the UK.

Our partnerships and projects

Our research, projects and partnerships have positive impacts across Portsmouth. Use this map to see exactly where, and what, we're doing to develop the city around us. 

Using the map: 

  • Toggle the map filter to show the project you're most interested in. We've grouped our work into 'Social Impact', 'Health & Wellbeing', 'Environment', or 'Cultural Contribution'.
  • Click on any map pin to learn more about a specific project, and access contact information if you'd like to discuss the project. 
  • Zoom in or out to get a sense for the scale of our work. 

Restart a Heart | Learning CPR with Portsmouth FC

In the South East of England, around 5,100 out of hospital cardiac arrests occur each year with survival rates being just 1 in 12 and below the national average. Immediate and appropriate first response can be critical.

Through our partnership with Portsmouth FC, the University is raising awareness of free CPR training in the city via the British Heart Foundation’s RevivR website, training up the Pompey squad along the way. The training takes just 15 minutes and can be done at home with your phone and a cushion. Search 'BHF RevivR' for more.

Today we've come to Portsmouth Football Club to talk about the Restart a Heart project that we're doing at University of Portsmouth.

 Using our students as volunteers to come and teach people how to do CPR and to use a defibrillator.

 It's our responsibility on a daily basis to try to help the players improve on the football pitch, but also as people and when we have the chance to develop our skill set, I think we should always be open minded enough to take the opportunity.

 It's something that could happen and it's something that we should all be prepared for.

 Plus, it's a life skill that I think everyone will need because one day it will happen and you will be able to save a life.

 We know that it's really important to try and spread the message and teach as many people as we can, because actually it's what makes a difference when somebody has an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

 I'd say that I definitely feel a lot more confident now.

 If I saw a defibrillator or if I was given a defibrillator now, then I definitely know how to use it.

 It's one of those situations that you never want to come across, but it's 100% better having some kind of training than none at all.

 It's about giving people confidence and courage to get involved, to start something, because that's what will make the difference.

 That's what will increase the survival rates across the south coast.

 What an unbelievable skill it is to be able to save somebody else's life.

 Life is such a precious commodity, isn't it? So if we can learn this skill that helps to save lives and prolong life, then absolutely we should find the time to be able to educate ourselves and up-skill.

Whether it's online support through webinars, volunteering, or surveying our community to plan for the future, we're invested in Portsmouth and the local business community, and we're planning a prosperous future together.

Peter Hooley, Director of Business Development, Faculty of Business and Law

How we impact Portsmouth and the local region

We want to make a tangible difference in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas, working hand-in-hand with the region we call home. We pride ourselves on being inclusive, and are actively contributing to the economic, social, and cultural vitality of our community. 

Enhancing lives through volunteering

Our aim is for students and staff to work and volunteer with the community to enhance the social, cultural and economic life of the city. 

Each year, our students volunteer over 60,000 hours at over 200 local charities, social enterprises, schools, community groups, theatres and not-for-profit organisations. They also offer free community services in our Accounting Clinic, Legal Clinic and Dental Academy Patient Services, and free business services through the Business Consultancy Project.


Growing local business through collaboration

We collaborate with local businesses, organisations and the public sector by offering free support, advice, and services to the local business community.

We offer business services to support and grow local businesses, including our Accountancy Clinic, Accelerating Women's Enterprise (AWE) programme, conference and event space, co-working and office space, free energy efficiency audits and funding through Low Carbon Solent for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become more sustainable.

Promoting the city of Portsmouth

Portsmouth has unique strengths and a rich heritage. We want to show the world how great this city is. Through partnership work, we aim to champion shared interests, support economic growth and make the city a destination of choice for people to live, work and visit.

We've partners with Portsmouth Football Club to improve and promote our city, increase local participation in higher education, and provide work experience for our students.

We're also working to improve our sustainability and become a climate positive university by 2030


Driving inclusiveness

We're a Stonewall Diversity Champion and work with groups including Working Families, Time to Change, Mindful Employer, AccessAble and Disability Confident. We're also members of two Higher Education lead charters, Athena SWAN and the Race Equality Charter, which drive gender and race equality. Find out more about our equality and diversity work.

We're improving access to education by supporting children in care and care leaversBlack, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communitiesmilitary service children in Portsmouth and refugees and asylum seekers by becoming a University of Sanctuary.

Woman in hospital uniform standing outside NHS Nightingale Hospital London

I started volunteering for St John Ambulance when I joined university, as I wanted to be able to give back and help my local community. My volunteering has not only helped me develop as a person but has also provided me with invaluable skills that I can take forward with me and use in my future career.

Amy Hughes, BA (Hons) Photography student

Collaborate with us

If you're brimming with ideas for civic projects or eager to share the impactful activities you're already championing, we encourage you to send us an email. Every contribution you make is a an essential part of the change we're creating as a community.

Let us know about your ongoing civic work as a current member of staff, student, or another part of the University community, or reach out to us with a new project idea. 

And if you're not officially part of our community yet but are drawn to civic collaboration, we warmly welcome your interest. Whether you're a part of our existing University community or you're looking to working with us for the first time, your unique perspective and active involvement will help us develop our future.

Civic news and projects