21st Century universities: engines of an innovation-driven economy

There is a question that is currently being asked across the UK as we face the biggest deficit since the end of World War II. The question was recently summed up by Vince Cable in his Denning Lecture; “can we reduce the deficit while still investing in helping the economy?”

While government has recognised the important role of universities as part of this critical question, the full role of these institutions within our economy has often been overshadowed in the UK. Indeed, despite severe spending cuts in many countries, it is a remarkable fact that the UK and Romania are the only two OECD countries that are not increasing their investment in higher education, research and science.

This paper highlights a weight of evidence to demonstrate that universities are not just part of a growth strategy, they are central to it. The quality and scale of our higher education (delivering highly skilled graduates), science and research will determine the future pattern of economic growth in any innovation-driven economy. This puts universities right at the heart of the original question.

Download the full report here.

Further reading