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Applicants are demonstrating their awareness of what it takes to be competitive

The UK needs more graduates if we are to come out of this recession able to compete in the global marketplace. Today’s figures are a welcome sign that applications are continuing to grow each year.

Given that 80% of newly created jobs are in high-skill areas that require a hightech and innovative approach, universities are playing a critical role in driving the UK’s economic future. These applicants are demonstrating their awareness of what it takes to succeed in a globally competitive recruitment market.

This is why we need more investment in our universities, an investment that
guarantees significant long-term returns. Despite severe spending cuts in many countries, it is a remarkable fact that the UK is one of the only OECD countries not increasing investment in higher education, research and science.

The UK cannot stand still and allow our global competitors to continue to overtake us on this. In 2000, the UK was 3rd amongst top industrialised nations in terms of the proportion of young people graduating. In 2008 we had fallen to 15th position because our competitor countries have been investing at a faster rate than us. We have to consider carefully the consequences of continuing to move down this ranking in terms of our international competitiveness. Do we want to fall into the race to the bottom or join the race to the top?

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Notes to editor:

‘Job-ready graduates’

Universities must ensure their graduates are ready for employment. Alliance universities are leading the way in delivering ‘job-ready’ graduates. Some examples of this:

  • Nottingham Trent University is one of the top ten universities in England
    and Wales for graduate employment with nearly 95% of its students in
    employment or further study six months after graduating.
  • Northumbria University has had more than 200 business start-ups in the
    past 5 years.
  • Liverpool John Moores University’s The World of Work (WoW) initiative aims to ensure that every student is equipped with the skills they need to stand out from the crowd and successfully engage in the world of work, either because they possess skills which are highly valued by employers or because they are well equipped to set themselves up in their own business. (http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/wow/)
  • University of Hertfordshire does not have a career advisory service but an employability centre, matching employer’s needs with student’s skills. They also support professional development for graduates.

About the Alliance:

University Alliance represents 23 major, business-focussed universities at the heart of the sector delivering world-leading research with impact.Alliance universities educate over 26% of all UK students and achieve some of the highest graduate-level employment rates. Alliance universities offer a research- informed, academic learning environment and a culture of innovation and enterprise, equipping graduates who will help deliver growth to the UK economy. Our universities maintain a revolving door with business to help ensure graduate employers get innovative and thoughtful, professionally accredited graduates with the right skills to help grow their businesses.

Alliance universities:

Aberystwyth University, Bournemouth University, University of Bradford, De Montfort University, University of Glamorgan, Glasgow Caledonian University, 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, Teesside University, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, University of Wales, Newport, University of the West of England.

For further information, please contact Sam Jones at the University Alliance office on 07767 673 982 or email sjones@unialliance.ac.uk.

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