The University takes an active role in supporting the local community through involvement in various initiatives and projects including:

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Professor Christine Jarvis, is Trustee and Chair of the Dewsbury Learning Trust and is also a Trustee of CERTA (Open College Network Yorkshire and Humber Region).

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Thornton, is a Trustee of Park Lane Learning Trust.

The University acts as a professional partner for One Community. One Community was set up in 2010 with the aim of generating funds to support local community groups, and to ensure that the Kirklees area would have a Community Foundation.

Student volunteers

The Students’ Union helps students link up with organisation who need volunteers these opportunities range from a variety of student-led projects such as HarvestHud to volunteering with over 100 charities across West Yorkshire and beyond.

2016 saw the continuation of the hugely successful 'Students at the Heart of Hud’ project with five simultaneous student-led community activities taking place over a single day, and also the ‘Slaithwaite Underpass Regeneration Project’ (aka. SURP) through which our students transformed a local walkway into a work of art.

Another great example of students working with the community is the Hands off HRI Campaign. The NUS are currently running a story on this

Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre

During 2017, the University will become home to a new Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre, which it is expected will draw some 20,000 visitors a year, including many school parties from throughout the region. This will be located at the Heritage Quay archives centre and – having received funding of almost £1 million, including more than £600,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund – it is being developed in tandem with the Leeds-based Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association.

Working with local schools and colleges

The University works with schools and colleges in the region to ensure that young people are aware of the options available to them. The University works together with Kirklees Council through the Kirklees Learning Progression Board, the Kirklees Community Learning Trust and the Studio School initiative. The University has similar connections in Barnsley. Our engagement with schools and colleges includes activities designed to: raise aspirations, reduce perceived barriers to higher education, support attainment, encourage access to the professions and provide clear information for parents and carers. In addition to our regular work throughout each academic year we also run the Progression Module and the Aspire Project.

Progression Module

We work with 877 students at 10 schools and colleges on The Progression Module, a formal programme of study which gives Year 12 students the opportunity to investigate and research progression routes - primarily into Higher Education.

Aspire Project

In order to encourage young people to consider higher education, and the benefits it can bring them in future life, the University is launching a new project, in partnership with local schools. This aims to address the issue that 15% of highly able pupils who score on the top 10% nationally at age 11 fail to achieve in the top 25% at GCSE” (Missing Talent – research by the Sutton Trust). This 10 year project aims to improve SATS and level 2 examination results and progression to post 16 and HE courses for the pupils it works with.

Staff volunteers

Many members of staff are volunteers with local charities and community groups. In addition many also serve as governors at local schools and colleges. If your school or college has vacancies on its board please contact us to see if we have a member of staff who might be suitable. Please contact Jayne Amos on 01484 472982 or email


China Children and Teenagers’ Foundation

For while now the University’s China Office have been supporting a charity called the China Children and Teenagers' Foundation (CCTF). The purpose of CCTF is to care for, foster, and educate children and teenagers in China and to assist the government in improving the children and teenagers' education and welfare conditions.

Our University has a growing connection with China and it is our goal to work with our China Office to put something back into grass-roots education there. It’s easy to think that China is a large, rich country, but its rate of growth is leaving some families and young people in small towns and villages behind as their parents move to find work in the big cities, so this is our chance to help out in a small way.

You may have noticed some fund-raising going on around the Spring Festival Celebrations and a collection in the Students’ Union shop throughout February. Through these, and some other initiatives, we have raised an additional donation to CCTF which we will deliver in April 2017. Four lucky students will accompany Dr. Zhen Tong the President of the Chinese Student’s Society and Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor David Taylor on a visit to China to see something of the project and hand over our donation. The trip is made possible by funding from Santander Universities CSR programme and their support for student mobility in the University.