The role of Universities in Delivering the Government Agenda

Posted: Mon, 23 Jul 2018 17:02

The role of Universities in Delivering the Government Agenda

I always find that delivering a Keynote is more of a journey of discovery for me than anything else. Whilst I go to deliver I also go to learn and receive. This has certainly been the case with my first BUCS Conference last week in Bristol.

Of course working in Universities through sport has been a reasonable part of my life being based at Loughborough and through my 'Professorship' at Liverpool John Moores University. But preparation for my keynote left me in no doubt that University sport (and now physical activity) was going through another period of transformation and changed priorities.

In the wake of the keynote where I emphasised the changing nature of needs for the future generations coming into HE I saw this interesting headline from the BBC - Northumbria University axes elite sports teams amid cuts

This has sparked an interesting a lively discussion about the role and function of University sport and PA both for the University, its students and the wider public and community.

Whilst one of the things that I emphasised was the need to remain focussed - and University sport and PA wasn't in our annual plan at the Think Tank - I do feel this warrants more time from us. There are 2.3 million students in HE. They are a captive audience as far as population is concerned with plenty of 'touch points' for the right interventions and messaging. If we get University sport and PA activity right perhaps we could make a massive difference to the DCMS and SE strategy outcomes. But what does it mean to get this 'right' Its certainly a subject we will return to. It encapsulates all the strains of a sport policy where the requirements are equally for a PA strategy and for those most inactive.

Please do feel you can join the debate. We don't just want management from Universities or the sports departments. If we are ti understand what a University offer looks like it needs to be co created by those least active as well as the AU!

Tags: BUCS, DCMS, Featured, HE, Sports Policy, sport policy