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#PlanetPartners: University helping the Thames Valley region to prosper – University of Reading

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#PlanetPartners: University helping the Thames Valley region to prosper

Release Date 14 May 2021

SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Creating new job opportunities in the Reading area and helping businesses work for their local areas demonstrate the University of Reading’s commitment to play a key role in the economic growth of the region.

The University’s institutional and research efforts are underpinned by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are aimed at tackling societal and environmental challenges across the planet and are closely aligned with the University’s own strategy.

This May, the University of Reading is running a new #PlanetPartners campaign, inviting its entire community to share examples of work towards all the SDGs.

SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth covers the promotion of and work to achieve economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable, and which provides positive and productive employment. It ties in with the University’s #UniForReading commitment to be an institution that works for, and contributes towards the success of, the town and its residents.

“As an anchor institution in the Thames Valley we have a crucial role and responsibility to work with and for our region." - Sam Foley, University of Reading

Examples of work by the University to address SDG8 include:

  • Contributing to regional economic growth through community partnerships that help people prosper, and creating new facilities offering employment opportunities.
  • Developing a new research collection and storage facility on the Thames Valley Science Park site in Shinfield, in partnership with the British Museum. This will provide cultural and academic benefits to an already thriving site.
  • Helping companies improve and work for their local areas through stakeholder engagement led by Henley Business School.

Following the publication of the first UK-wide Knowledge Exchange Framework report in March, assessing universities on their support for growth in their local areas, Sam Foley, Chief Financial Officer at the University of Reading said: “As an anchor institution in the Thames Valley we have a crucial role and responsibility to work with and for our region.

"I am pleased to see that the first KEF has recognised the role that we are already playing, and it is a key priority for the institution to be engaged in the wider community.

“I am particularly encouraged to see that the University has been ranked so strongly for its contribution to local growth and regeneration. Our own research has begun to assess the contribution of the University to the economy in our region and nationally.

“As well as headline figures about the value added to our region through jobs creation and spending, the report and this assessment showcase some of exemplary work that colleagues have been doing in partnership with local businesses and organisations to make a difference for Reading, the wider region and the UK as a whole.”

The UN’s SDGs incorporate themes across the ‘five Ps’: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership. These align with the University of Reading’s own strategic themes: Community, Excellence, Sustainability and Engagement.

This campaign follows the publication of the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021, in which Reading participated for the first time and ranked in the top 200 globally, which scored participating universities on their support of the individual SDGs.


The University’s latest campaign is a continuation of the #PlanetPartners campaign launched by the University in October 2019, which is highlighting ways the University is working with global partners on projects that benefit the environment.

Follow the campaign and share your examples of work  on Twitter: @UniofReading | Facebook: /theuniversityofreading | Instagram: @uniofreading | LinkedIn: University of Reading | TikTok: @uniofreading using the hashtags #PlanetPartners and #sdgoals

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