50 years: A force for positive change

This year marks 50 years since Leeds Polytechnic was established. From these widely respected foundations, the modern-day Leeds Beckett University has grown and developed.

The polytechnic brought together a number of specialist colleges to meet an increasing demand for professional and technical education in the city. It was the largest Polytechnic in Yorkshire with 3,000 full-time students and 4,000 part-time students with around 450 full-time teaching colleagues.

Today, Leeds Beckett University contributes £624m to the economy and is a community of more than 24,000 students and 3,000 colleagues. Its mission is to ensure that its knowledge and resources are used to make a decisive and positive difference to people, communities and organisations.

It provides academic, professional, vocational and applied learning, which contributes to the social, economic and cultural life of the city and region. Every year, the University’s graduates include the next generation of teachers, nurses, social workers, lawyers and many other front-line workers whose expertise benefits individuals, communities and wider society.

More recently the university has helped to establish, and now leads, a group of large local organisations forming the Leeds Anchors Network. This group is working together to help grow the Leeds economy and to foster inclusive growth, so that everyone can benefit from increasing prosperity.

The University has taken its role as an Anchor institution seriously. 51% of its purchasing spend is invested with Leeds based businesses, and £20m of this spend is with businesses in the top 20% most deprived areas of Leeds*.

Throughout 2020, the university will celebrate this contribution through stories which illustrate the impact on people, communities, business and the difference it will make in shaping the future of Leeds.

*Centre for Local Economic Strategies report 2019

Impact in Sport: Pioneering the progression of disabled athletes, Dr Bob Price OBE

Pioneering the progression of disabled athletes

Dr Bob Price OBE has campaigned throughout his four-decade career for the equal promotion of disability groups within Paralympics. 

School girls jumping in the playground

Helping children lead healthy lives

A ground-breaking programme to promote physical and mental wellbeing in primary schoolchildren has been officially unveiled. The Creating Active Schools (CAS) framework is the first UK-based whole-school physical activity framework of its kind. Developed with the expertise of 50 regional, national and international stakeholders, the framework has been published in the prestigious International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity. Development of the CAS was led by Dr Andy Daly-Smith from the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University, working in close partnership with Dan Wilson from the Yorkshire Sport Foundation and Nicola Corrigan from Public Health England, Yorkshire and Humber.


Introducing Impact in Sport, Peter Mackreth, Dean of Carnegie School of Sport

Peter Mackreth, Dean of Carnegie School of Sport

At Leeds Beckett University, we have a long and rich tradition of leading the field in sport education. Sport plays a huge part in many of our lives. The absence of sport for the last three months has made this particularly evident, from playing at the local sports club, to watching elite athletes performing on a world stage.

Stethoscope on documents

Collaborations between General Practitioners and Voluntary and Community Sector organisations examined

More needs to be done to encourage collaborations between General Practitioners (GPs) and Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations, according to research carried out by Leeds Beckett University. The squeezing of public finances and the growing pressures on GPs – particularly in socio-economic deprived communities – mean the need for collaboration between GPs and VCS organisations is greater than ever.


Prisoners benefit from university learning partnership

A recent prison inspectors report on HMP Full Sutton has praised the impact of a Leeds Beckett University initiative which saw students study alongside prisoners.

Midwife takes incubator down corridor

Improving health outcomes in Sierra Leone

Mary Fullah was working as Public Health Sister in northern Sierra Leone whilst she studied at Leeds Beckett via distance learning. Since graduating she's progressed to Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer in the country with responsibility for all nursing and midwifery services across the country. This includes coordinating partners in nursing and midwifery services, policy formulation, strategic plan development and ensuring its implementation, and intersectional collaboration across services.

St George's Crypt film still

Film shows how Leeds homeless charity is transforming lives

St. George’s Crypt, in Leeds city centre, is a charity working with the homeless, the vulnerable and those suffering from addiction. A short film funded by NHS England highlights how involving people in their healthcare services can improve health and care outcomes. The CommUNIty Team at Leeds Beckett University shares knowledge, skills and resources with the charity to improve the health and wellbeing of those affected by homelessness.

Improving mental health in schools

Improving mental health in schools

Professor Jonathan Glazzard of Carnegie School of Education works to improve mental health in schools around the UK.

"The number of children and young people suffering from mental health issues has surged in recent years, creating a challenge for our schools." 

The interior design model

Autism-friendly design recommendations incorporated into ‘The National Autistic Societies’ knowledge base

Joan Love, a Senior lecturer on BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design, has had an article on ‘Autism-friendly architecture’ included on The National Autistic Societies ‘Network Autism’, Good Practice and Knowledge base. This highly regarded platform shares the most up to date expertise, practice and resources amongst professionals across the community.

Health and wellbeing impact, developing the antibiotics of the future

Developing the antibiotics of the future

A pioneering Leeds Beckett academic is working to develop the first new antibiotic drugs in more than 40 years.

Dr John George, a reader in the School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, is undertaking research to develop the antibiotics of the future amid growing concern that bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics at an alarming rate.

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