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University Alliance well placed to deliver Government’s priorities in Framework

In response to the Government’s Higher Education Framework Libby Aston, Director of University Alliance, said:

“Alliance universities have a long history of shaping the new economy and are well placed to deliver the Government’s priorities outlined in the Framework.

“We welcome the recognition that the UK has a world-leading higher education system and recognise that we share the challenge of sustaining our position in light of increasing international competition. In a difficult fiscal environment it is essential that we continue to invest in our universities which are both wealth-creators and drivers of economic recovery and growth.

“The Alliance shares the Government’s priority to ensure the health of the UK research base and deliver research with impact.  In order to do so, we must maintain the policy of selectively funding excellence in research, wherever it exists.  This is essential both for the future of the UK research base and to ensure efficient use of limited public resource in difficult fiscal climate.  Alliance universities have many peaks of world-leading research that have major economic and social impact including cancer research, nanotechnology and energy security. (1)  We will continue to work with HEFCE to develop the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

“With their origins in the Engineering and Design era of the Victorian Industrial Revolution, Alliance universities have a long and successful history of shaping the new economy.  These are now major, dynamic, business-like universities that work effectively with business and are hubs for new and rapid-growth industries.

“Alliance universities have always fostered cultures of entrepreneurialism and innovation and deliver confident, ambitious graduates, equipped for 21st century.  The World of Work (WOW) programme at Liverpool John Moores University is a world leading example of developing graduate attributes through close working with national employers and was highlighted in the Framework.  Alliance universities have some of the highest numbers of graduate start-ups.

“Alliance universities deliver genuine social mobility and access to the professions – areas of significant importance highlighted in the Framework.  Alliance universities offer flexible access to a diverse range of students (2), deliver excellence in research-led learning (3) and ensure very high rates of graduate-level employment. (4) Alliance universities work closely with the Professions and are major providers of both postgraduate (5) and professional education with up to 75 per cent of courses professionally accredited. (6)

“Alliance universities are a popular student choice (7) attracting focussed, determined and innovative students and achieving very high levels of student satisfaction (8).  Nevertheless, we recognise the need to further improve information, advice and guidance to applicants and students.  Many of our universities are already working to develop the university-student contract and increase awareness of graduate prospects.”

Ends

Notes for Editors

1. For further examples of world-leading research with high impact across Alliance universities please see our press release following the RAE, dated December 2008.

2. For example, at the University of Bradford (sector average in brackets):

  • 50% of students from minority ethnic groups (10%)
  • 52% from low socio economic groups (29.5%)
  • 76% on low income with bursaries (42%)
  • 47% of first years living at home with their parents

3. Nottingham Trent University was identified by TQA as a ‘role-model’ in this area.

4. e.g. 91% of graduates are in graduate-level employment after 3 years at Northumbria University, and Nottingham Trent University has joint highest graduate prospects for Civil Engineering graduates.

5. Often the largest provider in region.

6. 75% of courses are professionally accredited at the University of Bradford.

7. Oxford Brookes University has an average of 8 applicants per place, some courses in Alliance universities have up to 25 applicants per place and Nottingham Trent University had the highest growth in UG demand 2008. 8. 81% average overall satisfaction levels at Alliance universities based on 2009 NSS data.

About University Alliance

Established in 2006, University Alliance represents 22 universities at the heart of the sector that are both research-engaged and business-focussed.  Alliance universities are actively engaged in their economic and social environments with close links to the professions, new industries and a deep-rooted commitment to access through flexible provision.  Alliance universities educate 26% of all UK students and have high graduate employment rates, offering a research-informed learning environment and equipping graduates for the 21st century.

Members of University Alliance

Aberystwyth University, Bournemouth University, University of Bradford, De Montfort University, University of Glamorgan, University of Gloucestershire, University of Hertfordshire, University of Huddersfield, University of Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University, Open University, Oxford Brookes University, University of Plymouth, University of Portsmouth, University of Salford, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, University of Wales, Newport, University of the West of England.

For further information, please contact:

Communications Team, Oxford Brookes University on 01865 484454

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