Event and essay collection mark official launch of the UPP Foundation

On Tuesday 7 June University Partnerships Programme (UPP), the leading provider of on campus student accommodation and support services in the UK, hosted an official launch event for the UPP Foundation, a charitable trust created to tackle the biggest issues facing the higher education sector across the UK.

UPP is the sole funder of the UPP Foundation and, based on the current business plan, intends to invest £2.5 million over the next five years. UPP’s investment in the UPP Foundation will increase as it expands and builds on its market leading position. 

The launch event took place at St Martins-in-the-Fields, London where an audience of over 100 members of the higher education sector, including university vice chancellors, heard speeches from the Rt Hon. David Laws, Foundation Advisory Board Chair and Paul Marshall, Group Business Development Director at UPP and UPP Foundation Trustee Board Chair.

The speeches were followed by a short video which outlined the aims and vision of the UPP Foundation and also a panel discussion involving members of the UPP Foundation Advisory Board and grant recipients. 

In conjunction with the event, an essay collection, Laying the Foundations: Examining the relationship between universities, students and society, written by members of the Advisory Board, with a foreword from Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Universities and Science was published.  The UPP Foundation Advisory Board is made up of highly regarded sector specialists from leading UK universities, think tanks, industry bodies and Government and is chaired by the Rt Hon. David Laws, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Schools Minister and Cabinet Office Minister.

The Rt Hon. David Laws commented at the event: “We are fortunate in the UK to have some of the very best universities in the world, shaping generations of talented graduates to achieve their full potential. In order to protect this incredible legacy and to preserve our position as leaders in the higher education sector, it is necessary for our institutions and the wider sector to collaborate, share best practice and work together to ensure that all of our students receive the best possible education.

The UPP Foundation has set out a bold agenda to tackle the big issues facing the higher education sector and I look forward to working with my Advisory Board colleagues to help ensure a bright future for UK higher education and to enable exciting new innovations to take place.”

Paul Marshall said: “The UPP Foundation was set up this year to support the higher education sector, to expand public debate and to encourage collaboration and sharing of best practice. I look forward to working with the Foundation and with our sector colleagues to encourage innovation and collaboration, to support charities and projects which can improve the student experience and strengthen the higher education sector as a whole.”

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Leicester; Professor Mark E. Smith, Vice-Chancellor, Lancaster University; Rosie Tressler, CEO, Student Minds; and Professor Nick Miles OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor Advancement University of Nottingham all spoke on the UPP Foundation launch event panel.

The essay collection examines the role of universities within both a national and international context, and, through the lens of the individual students they teach, explores the role institutions can play in preparing students for successful employment, the need to internationalise the student experience and the contribution universities can make to the UK economy and society. The essay topics range from how to ensure students from all socio- economic backgrounds have access to the best education, to how to create systems to safeguard those same students, enabling them to remain in higher education.

The essay collection and video on the UPP Foundation can be viewed at www.upp-foundation.org