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Introducing the UPP Foundation

Helping students, graduates and universities fulfil their potential to transform lives and communities

The UPP Foundation is an independent charity established in 2016 to support universities, charities and the wider higher education community.

It does this through grants for innovative pilot projects, and by providing impactful thought leadership.

It plays a vital role in how we listen to and learn about the changing needs of both the sector and the needs of students.

UPP is the sole funder of the UPP Foundation, which is an independent charity and has its grants reviewed and authorised by a Board of Trustees

Our strategy to 2025 looks to the transformational power of universities – for students, graduates and communities. It looks to help universities realise their own transformational potential, as well as focusing on what is needed to empower students to succeed, and in particular exploring the relationship between living and learning.

Richard Brabner, Director, UPP Foundation

UPP Foundation in action

We aim to help tackle the biggest issues facing the Higher Education sector across the UK.  We are proud of what we have achieved since our creation in 2016, demonstrating strong, tangible impact.


invested in projects


innovative pilot schemes developed


students directly benefiting from directly funded opportunities


young people progressed into work or higher education in partnership with the Prince’s Trust


homeless people supported into higher education through a funded toolkit with University of Chichester


18 universities signed up to work with Unlock, helping people with criminal convictions get into higher education


UPP employees trained in student mental health


volunteers supported to raise educational attainment amongst 7–14-year-olds

Key initiatives

Launching the Student Futures Commission

The Student Futures Commission was a year long initiative to provide a blueprint for how universities and students can work together to improve students’ experience of university following the COVID pandemic.

Its findings promoted and supported the development of Student Futures Manifestos to help individual universities and the wider sector gain a clearer focus on the priorities of students, and to better communicate and champion its commitments to successful student outcomes.

Establishing the Civic University Network

The Civic University Commission was an independent inquiry into the future of universities as civic actors.

It recommended the development of Civic University Agreements, in partnership with local government and other institutions in the local area, to focus their civic activity based on the needs of the local community.