We practise social responsibility within the university with our staff and students and engage external communities where relevant. Our activities are distributed among our six Schools, professional services and within the Students’ Union.
Our students are our first priority, and one of our key social responsibilities is to help them to achieve greater social mobility. For our staff, social responsibility means creating a caring and diverse environment and to be part of the City community. For wider society it means that we will contribute to social development globally, especially in the countries our students come from.
Our six specialist Schools contain outstanding academic departments, faculties, and research centres. Each is home to a unique range of expert teaching and research, and each is taking a dynamic approach to ensuring that social responsibility features prominently in its work.
This page gives you a glimpse of some of the key activities we are currently involved in or have completed in recent years. Our activities are grounded with social justice, and developing an ethical culture for all. City's thought leadership in areas of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and embedding ethics in our teaching are good examples of social responsibility in action.
Ethics in teaching and research
City is developing socially responsible professionals through teaching and research. We have changed our teaching over the years to reflect the professional standards expected in the society, including the places of work.
Some examples of ethics in teaching and research include:
- “Journalism Ethics”, taken by every journalism student in the School, which explores the philosophical, ethical and legal guidelines that inform responsible journalism. Other ethics modules include: “Ethics and Social Responsibility in the Cultural Industries” and “Creativity and Social Justice”.
- Changing curriculum to embed social responsibility within it: from September 2023, all engineering undergraduate programmes will include a module called “The Engineer in Society” in all years (BEng and MEng). Computer Science and Mathematics departments have included Ethics in the undergraduate programmes through a set of new modules.
- Professional programmes in the City Law School all include modules in legal ethics.
- City expects the highest standards of ethical conduct from its researchers and provides comprehensive guidance and support through the Senate Research Ethics Committee.
We do research and teaching to develop and disseminate our knowledge on social responsibility. We demonstrate facts and expert views to influence business practices. We embed ethics and socially responsible initiatives within our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching to develop the next generation of City professionals, i.e. our students.
The Bayes Global Women’s Leadership Programme
The Bayes Global Women’s Leadership Programme is a global event that seeks to inspire, equip and connect women who are leaders or aim to become leaders. We support women who want success that can go well beyond corporate or entrepreneurial leadership to include community involvement, mentoring and other initiatives. The programme includes events, peer mentoring and scholarships.
British Council Women in STEM programme
Phoenix of Persia
The Performing Arts project, Phoenix of Persia worked with local primary schools to introduced the diverse music, culture and storytelling of Iran, to promote a more positive understanding of the country and its cultural complexity.
Responding to COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racial Violence
The project, Responding to COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racial Violence, researched the rise of racism towards East and South East Asians in the UK in the wake of Covid, and the ways in which Community Creativity, Care, Solidarity and Resistance could help to address this.
Partnership with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education
MA Publishing students partnered with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education to monitor the representation of ethnicity in children’s literature, evaluating the quantity and quality of depictions of characters of colour.
Just a sample of ongoing international projects across our schools.
Global Challenges Research Fund
For a second year, academics from Bayes Business School and City, University of London, were awarded an Institutional Block Grant under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The projects funded included new activities as well as a continuation of projects from the 2018-2019 academic year. The GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.
City, University of London Speech and Language Therapy project in Cambodia (Phase 2)
The aim of the project is to increase awareness of communication problems within the population of Cambodia and to develop a training course in speech and language therapy in the country.
Health-related quality of life and needs of care and support among people living with cancer in Uganda
This project contributes to capacity building and sustainability of cancer care in Uganda, strengthening the country’s healthcare system.
Hate speech and journalism in times of conflict, the case of Arab Media
This project engaged with journalists in Lebanon to navigate through the rising levels of hate speech in Lebanese media.
Scholarships and funding
- Introduction of 10 Black British Scholarships per year (for students with financial need). Full fees paid, plus stipend.
- Introduction of 2 Boyle Rodney Scholarships per year (for students with financial need). Full fees paid, plus stipend.
- 4 MBA scholarships per year to women, covering 50% of the tuition fees. Each year 1 of the scholarships is awarded to a scholar in Dubai.
- Over the past three years, City has invested close to £500k into the Women in STEM programme. In 2022 we welcomed five scholars from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka studying on the British Council Women in STEM programme.
Find out more about the Sustainability team, their strategy, objectives and activities across the University.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
We are committed to fostering a culture where diversity and equality of opportunity are actively promoted and unlawful discrimination is not tolerated.
We are also dedicated to building and maintaining an environment that values the diversity of our students, staff and wider community.
We raise awareness of EDI issues in our studies, for example through high profile events and knowledge exchange activities. Some recent examples of events in cultural and creative industries include:
- “What’s Wrong with Miss Saigon: Challenging Racism and Misogyny in Musical Theatre”
- “Skin in the game: Journalists reporting on their own community for the international media”
- “Transforming City: Black Lives and Intersectionality”.
Equality, diversity and inclusion in the Students' Union
The Students' Union (SU) is actively committed to promoting and providing an equitable and inclusive environment for its members and staff team.
The EDI Committee is dedicated to ensuring that progress is made across all activities which include:
- Launching a Race Equality Working Group to identify how to minimise barriers to engagement in its activities for students of colour
- Launching an LGBTQ+ Working Group with the aim of supporting the student and staff community at City
- Collectively launching a student EDI library at the Student Common Room and filling it with books on race, LGBTQ+ issues, gender, disability and more
- Recruiting 10 EDI Reps from across City to develop reports on communities with protected characteristics to identify how the SU can improve its performance.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Read more about our diverse community among students and staff.
Social responsibility and the Students’ Union
Social responsibility at City means we work using an ethical framework in which students collaborate with each other and wider organisations for the benefit of the community that will inherit the world that we leave behind.
Some of the changes that Student Leaders influenced in 2021/22 include:
- 20 new Academic Societies established
- Free British Sign Language courses for students
- Lobbied for City to sign up to the Mental Health Charter
- Improved on-campus student services provision following the pandemic.
Our Students’ Union (SU) is committed to social responsibility and social action. The SU’s Strategic Plan sets out four core priorities:
- ‘Make [students] stand out from the crowd’ by providing extra-curricular activities and skills to become socially responsible graduates who achieve their career goals.
- ‘Make the most of [students’] money’ by providing jobs, money advice, short term loans, and pushing for better value for money to improve students’ lives and alleviate financial pressures.
- Provide ‘a platform for driving improvements’ by advocating and lobbying for the changes students’ want to see.
- Support ‘[students’] happiness, health and wellbeing’ by building communities, organising events, providing independent academic and money advice, by having strong Societies and by running wellbeing initiatives such as Study Well to support the student journey from start to finish and beyond.
Representing and advocating for our diverse student community
The SU ensures that students are well represented and that they are advocating for evidence-led change.
Annually students elect:
- 4 full-time paid Officers
- an Assembly of school-based Leaders
- over 800 Programme Reps.
Student Leaders – a diverse range of active student societies
As Leaders of tomorrow, the SU want students to develop academic and professional skills, as well as a sense of social and environmental responsibility.
In 2021/22, over 3,000 students were a member of around 100 student-led societies who run activities and events for the community at City and beyond.
- light-touch events
- fundraising for charities
- volunteering in and around Islington.
Student jobs and student-first hiring policy
With the cost-of-living crisis growing, the SU recognises the need for students to be able to support their studies and their families.
Working with the community to advertise local jobs it follows a student-first hiring policy, which means that the SU recruits students first to non-career staff posts.
In 2022/23, it aims to put £50,000 back into students’ pockets via jobs and discounts.