United Kingdom Town and Gown Association

The UKTGA strengthens town gown partnerships by providing a network of off-campus practitioners and resources, identifying and sharing leading practices, innovative solutions and creative opportunities within off-campus communities. The Group work closely with the ITGA to ensure a truly global approach to off-campus management. The central tenet of the UKTGA is to enhance the student experience through consistency, ongoing support and improved standards for those students and long term residents living in off-campus communities. The UKTGA was established in 2014 by, and is overseen and coordinated by Manchester Student Homes (MSH) on behalf of The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Role of the UKTGA is to:

  • Create key off campus campaigns to enhance the student experience
  • Host ongoing learning and best practice opportunities for off campus practitioners
  • Focus on off campus living – but with an appreciation of the Student Lifecycle
  • Develop academic research
  • Collate a regional key contacts/ stakeholders list
  • Serve on committees or task forces and take on special assignments relating to off campus themes

The work of the UKTGA is delivered by a Steering Group of elected regional members from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales who are responsible for the delivery of biannual conference as well as the coordination and dissemination of leading practice, academic research and networking opportunities. The UKTGA is chaired by Cooper Healey who also represents the ITGA at Board level, with support from Deputy Chair Poppy Humphrey, who are a pivotal link between the organisations.

The UKTGA has just under 400 members globally, representing Universities, Student Councils (known as Students’ Unions in the UK) and, Local Authorities (The City), Police and other stakeholder organisations. The UKTGA facilitates ongoing dialogue and sharing of ideas to respond to issues which underpin the off-campus student experience. This includes, but is not limited to; safety, housing (licensing and planning), health and wellbeing, regeneration, environmental issues, drugs and alcohol as well as celebrating the contributions our students make to the communities in which they reside such as economic vibrancy, diversity and volunteering.

The UKTGA has held three conferences in 2014, 2016 and 2018 at The University of Manchester, Nottingham Trent University and Queen’s University Belfast respectively. The conferences have seen over 600 delegates from across the UK, Canada and America come together to share ideas, broker relationships and strengthen standards to support the student experience, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Conferences are supported by the delivery of smaller regional meetings to further build on this collaborative community and strengthen this partnership.

This network has been cited as instrumental in providing support for colleagues who deliver niche roles to support students living off-campus.

UKTGA Testimonial

“I’m on a steep learning curve in regards to this whole area but am coming away from this conference a definitive step further up the curve”.

A key theme deriving from all work undertaken via the UKTGA in particular our conferences is the strength of partnerships that have been fostered through our network.

The UKTGA is proud to work closely with our friends and colleagues at the ITGA.