Our Four Themes

Our strategy will focus on four themes. These are areas of clear and defined need, for which we have shared strength and critical mass, and by which we can make a difference to both our regional and global communities.

Culture, connection and creativity

Placing culture at the heart of our endeavour towards a fairer, more sustainable future is the only way to ensure inclusive and equitable development. We must understand how we communicate and how we engage. UNESCO summarised this simply: ‘development is inseparable from culture.’

For us, culture and creativity are both academic and performance-based, both theoretical and applied. They are engaged locally, nationally and internationally. Find out more about our work here. 

Health systems, social care and wellbeing

Although significant advances have been made globally in improving health, increasing life expectancy and tackling communicable diseases, the UN has recognised that progress has slowed or stalled.

We can play a part in reversing this. Find out more about our work in this area here.

Human rights, equality and conflict

According to the World Justice Project, an estimated five billion people have unmet justice needs globally. This has been exacerbated by the rise of extremism, political instability and the climate crisis. Issues of migration, gender inequality, corruption and free speech mitigate against sustainable and fair development.

Challenging these issues is at the heart of what we are. Find out more about what we do here.

Sustainability, natural resources and food

The UN has indicated that, after decades of steady decline, world hunger has slowly been on the rise since 2015. An estimated 821 million people in the world suffered from hunger in 2018. At the same time, obesity continues to increase in all regions of the world.

However, food needs to be seen in the wider framework of how we use natural resources, how we manage biodiversity and how we ensure sustainability. Our universities work with partners globally to understand and find solutions to the conflicts we face. Find out more here.