• Phil Packer

Universities UK partners with The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) and supports The BRIT Challenge

Universities UK (UUK) have partnered with The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) and are inviting their members to embrace the BRIT 2021 Challenge and encourage their students and staff to participate.

The special relationship with UUK has grown stronger since the BRIT 2020 Row Britannia Challenge and throughout 2020. We are delighted that Professor Julia Buckingham, President of Universities UK, is championing the BRIT 2021 Challenge and urging every university Vice-Chancellor in the UK to promote the challenge and ensure their students and staff have the opportunity to register teams.

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE - President of UUK

“In 2019/20, Universities UK partnered with BRIT, together with The Association of Colleges, Colegau Cymru, Colleges Scotland, BUCS and the NUS, to invite and encourage every university and college in the UK to take part in the Row Britannia Challenge.

The founder and non-paid CEO of BRIT personally invited every vice-chancellor and college principal to encourage their students to enter a team, complete the challenge and raise funds to support student mental health. Almost 130 visits took place during an unprecedented 5-month UK-tour and pre-lockdown, almost 100 institutions were taking part with many more of our members preparing to register teams.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic stopped hundreds of thousands of students, and staff, from completing their 2,020-mile challenge and reaching their fundraising targets. I am delighted that BRIT is delivering a bigger, better and more inclusive BRIT 2021 Challenge in 2021 that can be completed on campus or at home, depending on the restrictions in place. This will enable students to take part wherever they are.

I urge all of our members to register teams to take part in the BRIT 2021 Challenge, support their students in taking on their 2021-mile challenge and help to raise vital funds for BRIT’s collaboration of mental health charities who support young adults in the UK.”

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE

President of Universities UK


​John de Pury has been instrumental in coordinating the invaluable support we have received from the UUK Team. John is Assistant Director of Policy at Universities UK and currently leads policy programmes on HE Innovation and Health and directs the UUK Health Research Networks.


UUK have worked tirelessly to assist with our recent launch of the BRIT 2021 Challenge and, to coincide with the personal invitations sent by BRIT to every university Vice-Chancellor, have written to the Heads of Communication at every UK university with details of how students and staff can register teams and be involved with the challenge.


We are sincerely grateful to Julia, John and also to Alistair Jarvis (Chief Executive), Alastair Sim (Director, Universities Scotland), Amanda Wilkinson (Director, Universities Wales), Michael Thompson (Deputy Director of Communications & External Affairs), Clara Plackett (Senior Press & Social Media Officer) and Kristen Hinds (Executive Assistant, Policy Group).