Contributing to regeneration and growth

We will contribute to regeneration and growth, enhancing the University’s social and economic impact in the communities we serve in the city of Glasgow and beyond. 

GCU is engaging with Glasgow City Council in support of regeneration of Glasgow. GCU generates economic and social benefit worth nearly £1billion each year to the UK economy while supporting 14,000 jobs, an independent report by BiGGAR economics has found. The study also notes that for every £1 from funding bodies, GCU returns £14.75 to the UK economy and £13.13 in Scotland.

The University’s growth is secured by an approach that is environmentally and financially sustainable. GCU is proud to be Scotland’s only EcoCampus Platinum Award winner and to rank in the UK top 10 in the People and Planet Green League, which recognises environmental achievements such as sending no waste to landfill.

GCU has experts in regeneration strategies in cities from a multi-disciplinary perspective by incorporating ideas from geography, sociology, urban planning and tourism. 

In Africa, working in partnership with the Scottish Government and other agencies, we offer families in Malawi the opportunity to replace dangerous oil lamps with eco-friendly, cheaper solar alternatives as part of the Scotland Lights Up Malawi campaign.

BiGGAR economic impact

GCU generates economic and social benefit worth nearly £1billion each year to the UK economy while supporting 14,000 jobs, an independent report by BiGGAR economics has found. For every £1 from funding bodies, GCU returns £14.75 to the UK economy and £13.13 in Scotland. These figures are expected to rise even further in the coming years as analysts predict the University will strengthen further its position to tackle society’s challenges.

Microcredit research

GCU researchers are working with the first borrowers to investigate the viability of microcredit loans as a means of improving the finances and health of low-income individuals in the UK, in the first major study supported with evidence of the views of this population group.

Funded with a £210,000 grant from the Chief Scientist Office (CSO), part of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, the ‘Fair credit, health and wellbeing’ project aims to explore the perceived association between improved income, community connectedness and potential resulting health effects.

GCU’s work in this area focuses on researching the potential for microcredit to act as a health creator and generator of wellbeing. This brings a new ‘determinants of health’ perspective to the microcredit research field. The study will analyse participants’ financial management planning, extract participants’ subjective views on the relationship between income and health, and identify shared perspectives.

Social impact

We work with a range of thought-leaders, including International anti-poverty campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, who was installed as Chancellor of GCU in October 2012.

As Chancellor, he provides leadership, advice and support to the University and has pledged his inspirational stewardship in support of GCU’s undertaking to harness its intellectual, social and emotional capital and collaborate with others to find solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges.

A world first, our MSc in Social Business and Microfinance offers students the opportunity to critically evaluate the power of business and to implement positive social change in global environments. 

Centre for Climate Justice

Rural communities in Malawi and Zambia, particularly women and children, face major challenges in accessing water, often walking long distances daily to public water points to fetch water. They are also at risk from contracting disease from contaminated water.

GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice, led by Professor Tahseen Jafry, has secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund to help improve access to water among the poorest and most vulnerable groups in Malawi and Zambia.

The 18-month £600,000 Water for ALL project aims to help build sustainable capacity in achieving equity and entitlement in accessing water. GCU is working with the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi, and the University of Lusaka on the project.

The governments of Malawi and Zambia recognise that global climate change has serious implications for their countries. A number of frameworks and policies are set to promote sustainable water resources management and facilitate the equitable provision of adequate quantity and quality water.

The Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund is also supporting GCU’s work as part of Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group, to encourage communities in Malawi to replace dangerous and costly kerosene lamps, batteries and candles with environmentally friendly solar lighting that helps families to tackle poverty.

Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group includes GCU, Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) and charity SolarAid, which runs a social enterprise in Malawi.

The Centre for Climate Justice was also awarded significant funding from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) for an analysis of gender relations in South Asia and the development of guidelines for gender responsive wheat based systems.

International development experts regularly gather at GCU for stakeholder events to gather the best evidence to inform work in the area of climate justice.