As Universities Week 2012 gets under way (30 April – 7 May), a new report launched this week shows the University of Gloucestershire’s involvement in the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic Games contribution.
The report, Olympic and Paralympic Games: The impact of universities, demonstrates the diverse contribution that universities are making to the 2012 Games, the overall impact on the UK sports industry and the work institutions and academics are doing around the Cultural Olympiad and 2012 legacy programme. The University of Gloucestershire is proud to be included in this report which showcases its Sport Malawi and Malawi 2012 projects and programmes.
It also reveals that more than 90 per cent* of the UK’s higher education sector are engaged with London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with 65 per cent expecting to gain legacy benefits from their involvement.
The third annual Universities Week campaign, which aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities, is this year taking an in-depth look at the contribution that our universities make – and have always made – to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the sports industry and society as a whole.
Within the report, top line findings from Podium, the further and higher education unit for London 2012, show that nearly two thirds of the institutions engaged with London 2012 believe they will benefit from a tangible legacy as a result of the Games. The activity in which most institutions were involved was volunteering based, with 39 per cent of institutions involved in this type of activity, closely followed by 36 per cent of institutions involved in sports activities.
Professor David James, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the University of Gloucestershire said:
“Universities Week 2012 is an excellent opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic work universities are contributing to the world of sport, which is especially apt with the Games taking place this year. Here at the University of Gloucestershire we are heavily involved in London 2012 and have been working in partnership with Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council, and Aspire Sports & Cultural Trust to create a Gloucestershire Consortium that will provide facilities for the Malawi Olympic team during their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malawi National Olympic Committee was signed in March 2011 and the county will be rising to the occasion to leave a lasting legacy for the community.”
In celebration of Universities Week, the University and UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admission Service, have put together teams to play in a Varsity style tournament and try their hand at some friendly competition.
Karen Rothery, Chief Executive Officer, British Universities & Colleges Sports, said: “For student athletes, what better way could there be to enhance the student experience through sport than competing against peers in the Olympic stadium itself? Sport is taking centre stage in the UK and it is enjoying its highest profile for many years; in a large part this is due to the contribution of our universities as today’s report and Universities Week shows.”
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK, said: “Quite apart from sports training and development, universities have made an extensive contribution to sports-led research. In London 2012, we see this from the dedication of the university volunteers who are helping [during the Olympic events?] to the London 2012 Games Makers programme [explain university connection?], and the central involvement of universities in the lead Cultural Olympiad projects .”
On Wednesday, (2 May), a sister-report will be released, Supporting a UK success story: The impact of university research and sport development. This second Universities Week report will show the importance of university research and development in the context of UK sport and the Olympics.
Copies of today’s report are available on request from [email protected] and later for download from 

* Conducted by SPEAR, Canterbury Christ Church University, March 2012: Podium Stakeholder Research, The Engagement of FE & HE with the London 2012 Games in 2011. 

1. To find out more about Universities Week visit or join in with debate on Twitter #UniWeek and #BUCSChamps
2. Sporting stars talking about importance of university careers available for media use from
3. For media enquires please contact: Sarah Reardon or Susie Dullard on 020 3023 9934 /9035 or email [email protected]
4. About Universities Week 2012: a partnership by Universities UK, the representative organisation for the UK’s universities, and BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport), the national governing body for higher education sport in the UK. It is supported by universities across the UK and a wide range of organisations including Podium, the National Union of Students, Research Councils UK, the Universities Marketing Forum, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and many more.

Source: University of Gloucestershire