Welcome. We want to show you the way UTS makes a difference in our communities. Here you’ll find stories of that impact, news of how we’re trying to make a difference, and how you can be involved.

As public purpose institutions, universities have a critical responsibility to contribute to the community through research, education and practice.

At UTS, the concept of social justice is key to our core and purpose – we are committed to driving social change in the world beyond our campus. This commitment is reflected by a diverse set of institution-wide social justice initiatives that have only expanded in scope and depth since UTS was established.

In order to formalise our social justice agenda and further articulate and structure our future endeavours in this space, in 2016 we began developing the UTS Social Impact Framework.

Through the UTS Social Impact Framework, we will:

  1. contribute to increased public good, social mobility and equity
  2. support the creation of enabling environments for communities to thrive
  3. positively influence and impact the public, the individual, and the systemic forces that shape justice

These are ambitious goals, reflecting our beliefs that universities have a significant role to play in driving change through education, research and practice.

UTS supporting impact

UTS staff and students identified six areas in which UTS must take action in order to achieve the broader goals of the framework. These six domains of focus are:

  1. increasing the number of equity target groups successfully completing a higher education degree at UTS
  2. giving students the agency to enact personal and social responsibility
  3. supporting staff to maximise their social impact
  4. producing targeted research, teaching and program outcomes that have social impact and actively contribute to communities
  5. being an advocate, critical voice and thought leader on issues that concern and impact communities
  6. developing business operations and strategies that reflect a long-term independent commitment to social impact

Each domain is underpinned by a series of conditions that are vital to its success. In some cases, these conditions can be met by internal UTS activity; others require deep engagement with alumni, partners and community stakeholders in order to be achieved.

Trust and social capital – meaningful relationships, mutual trust and respect both within UTS and between UTS and our community partners – are the necessary foundations of these domains of focus.

The framework process also captured the necessity of a supportive and inclusive cross-level leadership and institutional culture, ensuring that social justice is a collective interest across the university.

All six domains of focus also intersect with four key influences that will shape the framework and its resultant activities: government policies and practices, industry, international frameworks, and media representations. To maximise our potential for social impact, UTS must proactively engage with each at both the local and global level.