Embrace, embed and enliven: advancing social responsibilities at the University of Northampton, England

Emel Thomas, Wray Irwin

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


As the United Kingdom’s (UK) first Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, the University of Northampton (UoN) has embarked on a strategy that embraces social enterprises. Social enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship are key competences that have been used by the university to address social inequalities. This paper will account for the social engagement challenges that are influential in the UK’s higher educational environment. International perspectives will be highlighted to demonstrate that significant advantages can be obtained by borrowing and adapting policies and practice strategies. Our primary aims are: to showcase the fundamental activities of social responsibility as demonstrated by UoN and provide examples of stakeholder demands during periods of significant change. We argue that it is essential for higher education institutions (HEI) to develop a more nuanced and innovative examination of community based initiatives and networks in order to sustain engagement and access.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of International and Comparative Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2017



  • Ashoka
  • changemaker
  • community based initiatives
  • engagement
  • social enterprise
  • social innovation
  • social responsibility

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