John Goddard OBE
Emeritus Professor John Goddard OBE

John Goddard, Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies at Newcastle University and founder of the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), is joining City-REDI, University of Birmingham in a part-time role as Professor of Universities and Cities.

He will be working at City-REDI to help establish a network of research-intensive universities focussing on their role in city and regional development. John has led research, policy and practise in this area locally, nationally and internationally over several decades. This has included a period as Deputy Vice Chancellor at Newcastle University, acting as an advisor to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Commission and most recently in the UK as Vice Chair of the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission, headed by Lord Bob Kerslake. John has captured this experience in two co-authored books - The University and the City which looks into the university from the outside and The Civic University: the Policy and Leadership Challenges.

The Civic University Commission’s final report “Truly Civic: Strengthening the connection between universities and their places” in February 2019 examines the important role that Universities have in the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of the places in which they are located. As part of the report John co-authored a guide to developing Civic University Agreements. Since the release of the report, 55 Universities have signed a statement committing their institutions to develop a Civic University Agreement with their local stakeholder guided by four driving principles:

  1. As place-based institutions we are committed to attaching a high priority to the economic, social, environmental, and cultural life of our local communities.
  2. Our civic role will be informed by an evidence-based analysis of the needs of our place, developed collaboratively with local partners and informed by the voice of our local community.
  3. We will collaborate with other universities and anchor institutions and form partnerships to overcome the challenges facing our local communities.
  4. With our partners, we will be clear about what we do and how we measure it, so we can say with confidence what we have achieved – and how we might do better in the future.

Professor Simon Collinson, Director of City-REDI and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Regional Economic Engagement said:

The need for universities to engage with, and add value to, their local communities and regional stakeholders has never been greater. A strong sense of civic responsibility has always been at the heart of the University of Birmingham and we are delighted to welcome Professor John Goddard to the University and to City-REDI to support our civic mission as our new Professor of Universities and Cities. John is a world leader in this field, both as an exceptional academic and as a respected policy advisor who has successfully translated research lessons into practical policies to improve city regions around the world. As one of the contributors QS university ranking system magazine observes, John has played a significant role in the establishment of a global civic university movement.

Emeritus Professor John Goddard said on joining City-REDI, University of Birmingham:

I am delighted to be joining City-REDI and the University at such an important moment in the evolution of UK higher education policy in the context of a renewed political interest in the development of the UK’s cities and regions. I am impressed that the University has seen fit to invest in City-REDI to inform its own civic engagement and I am looking forward to contributing to the establishment of WM REDI at the University of Birmingham | The Exchange and using the experience here as a platform to promote the original civic role of universities like Birmingham.