UWE's impact on London 2012 in new report

Issue date: 30 April 2012


Kenya delegation visit UWE

A new report launched today as part of Universities Week 2012 shows UWE Bristol's involvement in the UK's Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The report, Olympic and Paralympic Games: The impact of universities, demonstrates the diverse contribution that universities are making to the 2012 Games, the overall impact on the UK sports industry, and the work institutions and academics are doing around the Cultural Olympiad and 2012 legacy programme.

UWE is proud to be included in this report which showcases its involvement in the RELAYS project, the Bristol Kenya partnership and the Nowhereisland Cultural Olympiad.

The report also reveals that more than 90 per cent* of the UK's higher education sector are engaged with London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with 65 per cent expecting to gain legacy benefits form their involvement.

The third annual Universities Week campaign, which aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK's universities, is this year taking an in-depth look at the contribution that our universities make – and have always made – to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the sports industry and society as a whole.

Within the report, top-line findings from Podium, the further and higher education unit for London 2012, show that nearly two thirds of the institutions engaged with London 2012 believe they will benefit from a tangible legacy as a result of the Games. The activity in which most institutions were involved was volunteering based, with 39 per cent of institutions involved in this type of activity, closely followed by 36 per cent of institutions involved in sports activities.

The Bristol Kenya Partnership in which UWE is a key partner has been shortlisted for the gold or silver for the “British Council Award for Innovative International Collaboration” at the Podium Awards http://www.podiumawards2012.com/ to be held in London on 3 May.

The Kenyan Olympic and Paralympic squads will be accommodated in the excellent new residential facilities at UWE and staff and students have taken part in a four-week volunteering expedition to different regions of Kenya with the aim of helping sport development.

RELAYS (Regional Educational Legacy for Arts and Youth Sport) has been shortlisted as one of six Olympic inspired projects for the Podium 'Coubertin's Olympic Vision' Award 2012. Since its beginnings in 2008, RELAYS has engaged and connected with nearly half a million young people, through education, businesses and communities across the south west of England.

Artist Alex Hartley's 'Nowhereisland' has been developed by Situations, the art commissioning programme at UWE. It will involve 20 community organisations in seven towns and cities across south west England and is set to reach 250,000 people in all. Schools are using Nowhereisland across the curriculum for teaching citizenship, geography and politics.

Further findings in the report go on to show a significant correlation between institutions' involvement in Games projects and expectations of financial legacies. Overall, the Podium findings show that historically there has been extensive involvement by universities in the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games.

On Wednesday 2 May a sister report will be released, Supporting a UK success story: The impact of university research and sport development. This second Universities Week report will show the importance of university research and development in the context of UK sport and the Olympics.

Copies of today's report are available from http://bit.ly/IOameH

Editor's notes

*Conducted by SPEAR, Canterbury Christ Church University, March 2012: Podium Stakeholder Research, The Engagement of FE & HE with the London 2012 Games in 2011.

· To find out more about Universities Week visit www.universitiesweek.org.uk or join in with debate on Twitter #UniWeek and #BUCSChamps

· Sporting stars talking about importance of university careers available for media use from www.youtube.com/universitiesweek2012

About Universities Week 2012: a partnership by Universities UK, the representative organisation for the UK's universities, and BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport), the national governing body for higher education sport in the UK. It is supported by universities across the UK and a wide range of organisations including Podium, the National Union of Students, Research Councils UK, the Universities Marketing Forum, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and many more.

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