United Kingdom

Common Purpose UK student programmes

Students need new competencies and skills fit for the 21st century to be successful and to tackle the complex challenges they and the world face.

We believe this next generation of leaders need Cultural Intelligence (CQ): the ability to cross boundaries and thrive in multiple cultures. We partner with universities to deliver our co-curricular leadership programmes. These programmes offer a cutting-edge CQ pedagogy with powerful experiential learning techniques, equipping students with the CQ to thrive in the world today. They enable universities to complement existing offerings and meet key institutional objectives. 

Our unique transformative offering is built upon 30 years’ experience working with students and senior leaders from over 90 universities worldwide from Harvard, Oxford and National University of Singapore to global brands such as GE, PwC and Tata. Our deep networks give students unrivalled access to senior leaders and organizations across the world. We have a proven track record and specialist expertise of providing university students with the Cultural Intelligence, leadership skills and networks needed to tackle the complex, interconnected challenges of the world today.

Complete University Guide 2019

We are Proud to work with 9 of the top 20 UK Universities.


Shuvo Saha, Director, Google Digital Academy

“When students from diverse backgrounds work and learn together, it provides a huge boost to their Cultural Intelligence, preparing them to become the leaders of the future”

Cultural Intelligence

Our programmes develop Cultural Intelligence. CQ enables students to work across different boundaries: geographies, generations, sectors, specializations, backgrounds and beliefs.

CQ informs the pedagogy across all our programmes. Our CQ framework helps students to adapt to new environments and work effectively with people who are different to them. More importantly, it helps them to unpick their own culture—when it helps and when it hinders.

We use our Impact Framework to measure how leaders with Cultural Intelligence are better able to:

  • Navigate complexity
  • Build relationships
  • Drive innovation
  • Create impact
Rakesh Khurana, Dean, Harvard College

“In our ever more complex and interconnected world which has no obvious historical parallel, Common Purpose has developed a breakthrough idea about the importance of cultural intelligence in order to navigate both this new world and its contradictions. It has important implications and raises questions about our current systems for those of us involved in educating and developing our future global citizens.” 

Our Programmes

Our suite of leadership programmes help university students develop the CQ they need to become global leaders.

Future Leader Experiences

Students connect with senior leaders and go behind the scenes at a city level to explore how to be a leader with CQ.

Donut Chart

94% of students say our programmes have helped them develop as leaders

Donut Chart

96% of students say our programmes have helped them gain broader networks

Donut Chart

95% of students say our programmes have helped them make better decisions

Donut Chart

95% of students say our programmes have enabled them to drive bold innovation

Variations of our programmes:

Our programmes can bring together university students from different levels, disciplines and backgrounds. However, we also work with many universities who want to benefit specific groups of students in line with their strategy.

Widening Participation
Short-term programmes provide Widening Participation (WP) students with the opportunity to gain experiences they might not otherwise have been able to undertake. The condensed time commitment allows students to plan for and limit the impact on part-time work or caring responsibilities.

Domestic Students
Our programmes can support initiatives to increase the number of domestic students who take up outbound mobility and international experiences.

International Students
Our programmes can support initiatives to ensure that international students benefit from all the opportunities on offer to them.

Disabled Students 
Our Future Leader Experiences can be delivered specifically for disabled students. Prior to delivering the programme, we ensure we understand the accessibility requirements of each individual student through corresponding with them and with the university partner.

First/Second/Third/Final Year Students
Our programmes can support students at different stages, as they plan for their futures.

Micro-Credentials and Badging
Our programmes and assessment system can integrate into credit-bearing or micro-credentialing and badging initiatives.

Faculty Specific 
Our programmes can provide an opportunity for students to build on their classroom learning in the real world.

If you have any questions or want to find out more:

Contact Kirsten Johnson, Senior Programme Director: UK Student Programmes.