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Queen's University Belfast Launches New Social Charter Initiative

Queen’s University becomes one of the first universities in UK and Ireland to launch a ‘Social Charter’, a formal initiative reflecting the breadth and depth of the University’s local and global impact.

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The new Queen’s University Social Charter provides a platform to publically convey the University’s relevance, impact and commitment to the local community.  

As part of the Social Charter, there will be 19 Signature Projects which span the University and reflect the extent of research and activity at Queen’s. These Signature Projects include global alliances for leading edge cancer research, ground-breaking research in children’s healthcare and developing future leaders and students helping in homework clubs across inner city Belfast.

Professor James McElnay, Acting President and Vice-Chancellorat Queen’s University, said: “The Social Charter could be described as a social contract. Through it, we are shining a light on the significant contribution made by students and staff at Queen’s University. Since the University was formed in 1845, its impact has been deep and lasting. That impact has continued to grow and deepen regionally, nationally and globally. The Social Charter underlines our commitment to having a positive impact on both our people and our place.”

Queen’s University Student President Stephen McCrystall said: “The Students’ Union and the Student Council warmly welcomes the Social Charter. We currently have 11,500 of our students involved in volunteering, clubs and societies, and our student body has a long and proud tradition of civic engagement, promoting equality and diversity, and campaigning for social justice. The Social Charter very much represents the strong collaborative spirit of Queen’s University and its students, and we look forward to continuing to build on the positive impact Queen’s is making.”

One of the Social Charter’s Signature Projects is the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI) Zones. The Centre works in sustained partnership with local communities and the professional and community organisations that support them. The Centre is innovative in its approach, pioneering new ways of thinking and innovative ways of working to address key challenges facing society.

Dr Jackie Redpath MBE, Chief Executive of the Greater Shankill Partnership, said: “Queen’s is working with us through the Centre for Evidence and Social  Innovation to examine and evaluate what we are doing but also to guide what we’re doing and to bring best practice and what works to bear. We are absolutely delighted we are on this journey with Queen’s University – the Shankill and Queen’s walking together in a programme of transformation for children and young people.”

The Social Charter has 3 principles and 7 themes. The 3 principles are leadership, positive impact on society and commitment to equality and justice. The 7 themes are:  Research with Impact, Education with Social Purpose, Breaking Boundaries to Produce New Knowledge, Civic Culture and Intercultural Dialogue, Equality and Excellence, Sustainability and Recognising and Rewarding Contributions from Students and Staff.

Further information on Queen’s University Belfast’s Social Charter can be found at


Media contact: Kathryn Kirk |T: 028 9097 5310 | E: