The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, will tour the most north-western county in England next week, ahead of his planned retirement next year as Archbishop and of being the first chancellor of the University of Cumbria.
The Archbishop of York has held the position of Chancellor since the University of Cumbria's inception more than 12 years ago and during that time has witnessed the institution flourish and strengthen its position as Cumbria’s university in the region and beyond.
The upcoming two-day tour (29-30 October 2019) will see him bear witness to the major role the university has had in enriching the lives of young people in Cumbria.
However, it is no secret that the region is facing significant challenges regarding health and wellbeing, raising educational attainment and skills shortages.
To address this, the university is taking the outgoing chancellor on a whistle stop tour of the county, visiting locations that are facing three of the most pressing issues today - employment, skills and education, health and wellbeing and rural economy.
The tour will see the chancellor and vice chancellor traverse the county, visiting BAE systems, Barrow in the south, Windermere Jetty in the Lakes, Energus to the west and culminating in a youth conference at university headquarters, Carlisle in the north.
Each location will host a panel of regional experts, led by the university, who will discuss each topic and answer questions from the young people attending. The questions will be posed by a group of citizen journalists and the discussions will focus on how we can work together to secure a prosperous future for Cumbria’s young people.
The citizen journalists will also accompany the chancellor on his tour of the county and document proceedings using a variety of means including film, photos and podcasts.
The two-day tour will conclude with a youth conference, ‘Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Future’ - which will draw together observations from each panel discussion and be presented by the citizen journalists. The conference will finish with pledges being made by key stakeholders and the university on how the issues raised will be addressed and how we can work together to create a stronger and more prosperous future for them and generations to come.
Talking about the university’s hopes for this ambitious tour, University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell said:
“I am delighted to welcome our Chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, on his farewell tour of the county.
“The University of Cumbria was established in 2007 as an anchor higher education institution for Cumbria and the wider region, focused on raising young people’s aspirations and attainment levels and to address the higher-level skills needs of Cumbria.
“Twelve years on, thirty-three thousand graduates later, with recently awarded research degree awarding powers, the university has delivered significant impact in Cumbria, particularly in relation to health, education, environment and the arts.
“As our first chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, has supported us on this journey. It therefore seems a fitting tribute to share with him our impact to date and to provide our young people with the opportunity to share their views of current and future needs.
“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the chancellor for his enduring support and guidance over the years. He leaves behind a strong platform and values-base for us to continue to build on.”
Working with employers and partners, such as Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership, BAE Systems, Barrow District Council and other key partners, including further education colleges and schools, the university is committed to widen and deepen this impact further, to address a greater proportion of Cumbria’s and the wider region’s higher-level skills demands and to meet the challenges of low productivity and an ageing population and workforce.
Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership Chief Executive Jo Lappin said:
“We are delighted to be involved in this event, given the importance of our young people to Cumbria’s future growth and prosperity.
“They are our most valuable asset and this event provides the opportunity for their voices to be genuinely heard in shaping the future.”
Chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York said:
“I am delighted to be invited by the University of Cumbria to review and reflect on its successes but also feed into its most necessary work to address ongoing concerns and inequalities in the county.
“The university is a shining light of and for Cumbria and I am humbled to have served as its chancellor for the last 12 years.
“I am sure it will continue on its path to grow in strength and stature and I will enjoy watching its upward progression from afar.”
The chancellor’s farewell tour will take place on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 October 2019 starting at BAE Systems and finishing at the University of Cumbria’s Fusehill Street campus, Carlisle.