Glasgow Caledonian University Changemaker Campus

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is based in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, but also has a campus in London and a campus in New York. Although Glasgow is a historic and global city, it has some of the greatest social challenges of any city in Europe and the University fulfils a key role in contributing to the city’s development, in part through providing opportunities to students from some of the poorest communities in the city. As a sector leader in providing opportunities for talented individuals from all backgrounds, GCU is extremely proud that consistently one third of its students come from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds. The University’s commitment to social innovation is reflected in and inspired by its motto, For the Common Good, and is shared by its students and staff at all levels and not least by the University’s Chancellor and Nobel Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus.

In fulfilling its mission, GCU undertakes ground breaking research into social innovation and the impact of social ventures, particularly through: the work of the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health; developing socially entrepreneurial initiatives to benefit the communities within which we are located; and embedding the principles of social entrepreneurship into the curriculum through our Strategy for Learning.

Learn more about Social Innovation for the Common Good at GCU here.

Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health

The Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health was established in July 2010 and was launched by, and named after, our Chancellor and Nobel Peace Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus. It forms a key component of the University’s research strategy. Expanding upon the work of our Chancellor, our research is conducted on social innovations such as microcredit and social business which aim to tackle social vulnerability. We have research portfolios in the broad areas of social business, particularly its role in enhancing community health and wellbeing, health economics and the creation of an enabling environment for social innovation. The Yunus Centre’s research is at the cutting-edge of public health research, social business and innovation and public policies. Since its inception, the Yunus Centre has won over £3m in research funding and gifts and is one of the world’s leading social innovation research centres in terms of size and impact.

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Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing

A partnership between GCU and Grameen Healthcare Trust, the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing (GCCN) was established in 2010 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Our visionary College offers international-standard nursing education and clinical practice to its students and raises the status of the profession in Bangladesh. It provides opportunities, education and training to women from impoverished backgrounds across the country. In 2013, the College celebrated its inaugural graduation when 38 graduates were awarded a Bangladesh Nursing Council-approved Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery. At the ceremony, GCU’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE announced that the top three students were to be awarded a Principal's Scholarship, offering full financial support, including accommodation fees and a financial stipend, to allow them to continue their studies at GCU. In 2014 GCCN was awarded a prestigious Unilever International award, in collaboration with Business Fights Poverty, for demonstrating that business can make a positive difference to international development.

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Strategy for Learning

GCU is committed to embedding social entrepreneurship within the curriculum for all students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our Strategy for Learning (SfL) aims to ensure that GCU graduates are global citizens who will contribute economically and socially to the communities we serve. Students will be equipped to deal with complex global challenges through developing divergent, creative, responsible and entrepreneurial thinking applied to real-world problems. The ten SfL curriculum design principles will ensure the integration of social entrepreneurship and social innovation within learning and teaching across all GCU programmes. Experiential learning is at the heart of entrepreneurial and enterprise education and a central component of it is the development of reflective practitioners. The combination of the University’s focus on real-world learning, responsible leadership and the common good mission ensures that social entrepreneurship is an integral part of the learning and teaching experience at GCU. Experiential learning is at the heart of entrepreneurial and enterprise education and a central component of it is the development of reflective practitioners. The combination of the University’s focus on real-world learning, responsible leadership and the common good mission ensures that social entrepreneurship is an integral part of the learning and teaching experience at GCU.

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Professor Simon Teasdale Social Innovation Change Leader

Simon Teasdale is Professor of Public Policy and Organisations, and Social Innovation Change Leader at Glasgow Caledonian University. As a Change Leader, Simon has overall responsibility for developing a social innovation culture across GCU. This involves working closely with AshokaU and other partner organisations as part of our efforts to become recognised globally for work in social entrepreneurship research and education. Simon recently designed our pioneering MSc Social Business and Microfinance programme and teaches the module Global Social Entrepreneurship. His research has been funded by bodies such as the Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, and OECD. Simon’s research career in the area of social innovation was inspired by his work at pioneering social enterprise: The Big Issue in the North in the mid-1990s.

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Professor John Wilson Vice-Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Student Experience)

John Wilson is Vice-Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Student Experience) and Professor of Public Policy and Management. As a Change Leader, John has lead responsibility, on behalf of the University’s Executive Board, for AshokaU and for ensuring that the aspiration ‘Everyone a Changemaker’ is in part realised through, and embedded in, the University’s Strategy for Learning (SfL). The SfL is based on a number of design principles but two key elements can be summarised as follows: first, the need to develop not only the technical skills as required in different disciplines but also to develop interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial and problem-solving skillsets and mindsets i.e. to develop ‘Changemakers’; secondly, this ‘Changemaker’ ethos is supplemented by the University’s commitment to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). These two key elements give students a greater breadth and depth in their studies with an emphasis on responsible citizenship and actions to fulfil the University’s mission, for the common good. In short, the University develops entrepreneurial talent to solve social problems.

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Professor Pamela Gillies CBE Principal and Vice-Chancellor

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Francesca Calo Student Leader of Change Team

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Declan Jones Lecturer in Entrepreneurship

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Michael Roy Lecturer in Social Business

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Changemaker Campus

Launched in 2008, Ashoka offers the Changemaker Campus designation to leading institutions in social innovation education. These institutions share the vision for higher education to become the next global driver of social change by transforming the educational experience into a world-changing experience.