Social Impact Pledge

University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh logo

 

Social Impact Pledge logo

University of Edinburgh pledges to:

Challenge ourselves to increase the positive impact we make on our local community and make better use of our assets – our buildings/grounds and our people.

In the next six months we will do at least three things that we don’t do at the moment to improve our social impact.                                                                                                        

Signed,  Signature of PrincipalProfessor Sir Timothy O'Shea, Principal, Oct 2016                                                                                                                                                        

1st Commitment

Edinburgh University students will work with families of primary school children across the City encouraging them to include easy and fun reading, writing and counting activities in their everyday lives, as a means of enhancing pupil literacy and numeracy.                                                                                                            

Geographical location of impact

  • Edinburgh City Schools

Contact details

  • Dr Gale Macleod (Senior Lecturer, Moray House School of Education)

2nd Commitment

We will increase the number of student social enterprise start-ups (which offer goods and services for the benefit of the local community on a not-for-profit-basis) and provide the infrastructure to ensure their sustainability over the longer term.

                               

Geographical location of impact

  • Edinburgh City and the City region

Contact details

  • Alec Edgecliffe-Johnson (President of Edinburgh University Students Association)

3rd Commitment

We will increase the number of Student Digital Ambassadors to support digital literacy and participation amongst older people in the community.

           

Geographical location of impact

  • Edinburgh City and the City region

 

Further details about the three pledges

Commitment 1:

'Edinburgh University students will work with families of primary school children across the City encouraging them to include easy and fun reading, writing and counting activities in their everyday lives, as a means of enhancing pupil literacy and numeracy'.

We will deliver this commitment through the implementation of 'Moray House: Read, Write, and Count'. This new project (led by Dr Gale Macleod) aims to enhance parental engagement with children's learning, a core objective being to raise attainment amongst primary school pupils. As stated, students at the Moray House School of Education will work with families of P1, P2 and P3 pupils across Edinburgh Schools, to promote engagement with literacy and numeracy, encouraging families and parents to include easy and fun reading, writing and counting activities in their everyday lives. The project has been

developed in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust (who will provide pupils with a free bag of books, counting games and writing materials) and Edinburgh City's Family Learning Team (who will provide expertise, training and ongoing support to students). It will be evaluated by B.Ed. (Education) students as part of their final year research projects and the results used

to inform evolving best practice in family-schools engagement.

Commitment  2:

'We will increase the number of student social enterprise start-ups (which offer goods and services for the benefit of the local community on a not-for-profit-basis) and provide the infrastructure to ensure their sustainability over the longer term'.

This commitment will be delivered through the implementation of the new 'Social Enterprise Pathways Programme' over the academic session 2016/17. The programme was developed by the Assistant Principal Community Relations and the Director of Finance in consultation with key stakeholders across the University including student leaders, Launch.ad, and members of the Business School.  It comprises:

  • A taster seminar series with high profile external speakers (including those from the local social enterprise network) to raise awareness of social entrepreneurialism amongst students new to the University;
  • A managed portfolio of elective courses focusing on business acumen, leadership, innovation, resilience and risk management, as well as communication and community engagement;
  • An enhanced mentoring and placement scheme to enable students to gain wider practical experience of social entrepreneurship (drawing on the skills and experience of alumni);
    • A fund to support student social enterprise start-ups and new projects developed by existing student social enterprises, with students pitching for small grants to a panel of experts.

The overall aim of the programme is to provide students with the requisite skills and support to produce step-change in the number of new student-led locally-based social enterprises and to enhance the sustainability of existing social enterprises over the longer term.

 

 

Commitment 3:

'We will increase the number of student digital ambassadors to support digital literacy and participation amongst older people in the community.'

The commitment will be achieved through the expansion of the Student Digital Ambassadors Project which was successfully piloted in the Spring and early Summer of 2016.  The pilot programme ran in collaboration with the University's WEEE Recycling programme (via WarplT Equipment Exchange, who provided i-pads), and in discussion with Scottish Council for Voluntary  Organisations whose Scotland-wide Digital Participation programme ran in parallel. As part of the programme, students were trained to support older people to use computers and touchscreens when they encountered them in their daily lives, such as at GP surgeries and supermarket check-outs. The students then put their training into practice by working at the Charteris Community Centre, to support eight participants (aged between 70 and 87) to develop basic digital skills.  The evaluation of the pilot found that self-efficacy increased across all basic digital skills for all participants, with users feeling most confident using Google, email and online tutorials / MOOCs.

Over 2016/17 it is planned to recruit at least 20 student ambassadors to continue this work and extend it to other locations.