In the UK’s global, knowledge-based economy, where 80% of new jobs are in high-skill areas and new and growth industries take a high-tech, high-skill and innovative approach, universities are playing a critical role in driving the UK’s economic future. As well as being generators of economic growth and wealth creation, universities are helping to shape the new economy through their partnerships with new industries and use of new technologies.
Our global competitors, including the emerging economies, are investing heavily in universities in order to secure future economic growth. The UK Government’s commitment to achieving economic recovery and future growth is not in question but the fiscal deficit puts a different framework on decisions regarding investment and public spending in this country.
The Government shares many of the economic priorities of universities including: equipping a highly-skilled workforce; driving innovation through partnership with business and world-leading research; providing real-time business solutions through shared expertise; providing entrepreneurial leadership in areas such as regeneration and sustainability; and fostering social mobility and inclusion.
The question is how to achieve these shared priorities and how to maintain the UK’s position as a high-quality, leading university sector in a climate that doesn’t allow for a significant increase in investment in higher education.
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