How Alliance universities are leading a path through a difficult economic climate

University Alliance has today published a report that, for the first time, describes the approach adopted by its universities to focus on their strengths and deliver shared economic priorities in a new era of austerity.

The publication, “Efficiency, leadership and partnership: an approach that delivers shared economic priorities” takes a refreshing and upfront look at how the Alliance group of business-focussed universities is driving efficiencies. Using the report to engage in the new government’s conversation, University Alliance offers realistic solutions in the context of difficult times.

Professor Janet Beer, Chair of University Alliance, said:

“Given the central role that universities play in driving the UK’s economic future, there are many shared priorities between Government and universities but, in this new era of austerity, the importance of spending every pound of public investment to the greatest effect becomes even more important.

“This publication describes a longer-term approach that enables these universities to focus resource on their strengths.

“In the right circumstances, Alliance universities would be able to deliver some more radical changes for the university sector. In order to do so, we would need the new Government to ensure stable, predictable funding along with a more flexible regulatory environment that will allow universities to innovate and lead.”

Alongside strong efficient planning and effective management sits an approach to collaboration that delivers beyond an individual university – providing solutions and partnerships that have a real benefit to innovation and business. These are some examples of the case studies in the report where Alliance universities are striving for efficiency, making a contribution to economic growth and the prosperity of society.

Manchester Metropolitan University – 7 to 2 campuses (Page 22)

Manchester Metropolitan University has spent £350 million moving from seven campuses down to two, reducing the university’s physical footprint by 460,000 square metres and providing a platform for change across the university.

University of the West of England – connectivity driving innovation (Page 25)

The University is taking centre stage in the development of BLOODHOUND SSC, a car designed to take the land speed record to over 1000mph. This inspirational engineering project involving multiple private and public partners is a clear example of connectivity; where research, learning and teaching, community, public and employer engagement, infrastructure and professional services across the university, all work together to drive a truly innovative project.

Sheffield Hallam University – driving regeneration (Page 35)

The university uses the academic strength of its teaching and research in the areas of
business, manufacturing, sport, leisure and public service – working with these sectors in the region. This informs, influences and then fully implements the regeneration, growth and development strategy for the Sheffield City region.


Notes to Editors

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from

University Alliance represents 23 major, dynamic, business-like universities at the heart of the sector that deliver world-leading research with impact and are actively business focussed.

Through evidence-based policy and research, the Alliance aims to improve policymaking in higher education to the benefit of the UK economy and society. Alliance universities educate 27% 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, Glasgow Caledonian University, 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: Tim Field, University Alliance on 0203 178 7491 or email

Further reading