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Budget recognises universities are ‘vital for economic growth’

In response to Budget announcement of 20,000 additional university places Libby Aston, Director of University Alliance, said:

“We welcome Lord Mandelson’s recognition in today’s Budget announcements that ‘universities are vital for economic growth.’ The 20,000 additional university places will go some way to meeting demand for higher education – both from the applicants and from business. As a new economy takes shape, Alliance universities are playing an essential role in driving innovation and discovery, producing highly-skilled graduates.

“As well-run, business-like organisations, Alliance universities are both effective and efficient at delivering value for money of public investment. In times of financial constraint these essentials are even more important and compel us to spend what we have to the greatest possible effect.

“However, as Mr Darling said today, the UK ‘can’t take growth for granted’ and the government must play its part.  So must our universities.

“Entrepreneurialism is at the heart of Alliance universities’ expertise in near-market research with a direct impact on our graduates. The £35m university enterprise capital fund to support innovation and help graduate start-up companies will be a critical investment for the future.”

“Investing public funding in higher education is just that – an investment.  UK universities are generators of economic growth and wealth creation. At any point in time it is crucial to maintain public investment in higher education in order to drive the UK knowledge economy and, at a time of recession, even more so. In a tight fiscal environment the choices are stark but the importance of public investment in higher education for our future economy cannot be overstated – as our global competitors know only too well.”

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Notes for Editors

About University Alliance

University Alliance represents 22 major, dynamic, business-like universities at the heart of the sector that deliver world-leading research with impact and are actively businessfocussed.  Alliance universities educate 26% of all UK students and achieve some of the highest graduate-level employment rates.  These universities offer a research-informed, academic learning environment and a culture of entrepreneurialism, equipping graduates for the 21st century.

Alliance universities

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:

Alexandra Harris on 0203 178 7491 or email press@unialliance.ac.uk

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