Report shows universities need recognition as essential to government’s growth plans

University Alliance has published, ‘Growing the Future: universities leading, changing and creating the regional economy’ which argues that the government needs to take steps to ensure that universities are central to its growth strategy.

Growing the Future’ illustrates, through a series of opinion pieces, that universities have a central role to play in realising the government’s plans for growth. Universities encourage investment, exports and a more balanced economy; create an educated, flexible workforce; and are key to making the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.

Featuring contributions from Vince Cable, Sir Patrick Stewart, award winning science journalist and author Angela Saini, Sir Tim Wilson, Sir Richard Lambert, and many more, the publication looks at how universities are leading change regionally and ways in which universities can be best utilised to help Britain grow for the future.

Janet Beer, Chair of University Alliance says:
“Universities play a critical role in the UK economy. Through multiple and overlapping interactions across society, they occupy a key position in the regional and national economy. We urge government to give greater recognition to this fact and make universities more central to their plans for growth. At a time when countries such as the US, Australia and Germany are placing universities at the heart of their plans for recovery, we cannot afford to be left behind in the ‘race to the top’.”

Libby Hackett, Director of University Alliance says:
“The evidence is clear: universities are no longer just part of the education system. They are central to the economic and social prosperity of our nation. As growth figures continue to look worryingly bleak, we urge the Coalition Government to look closely at the role of universities in the second phase of their growth plan. We will be discussing new ideas and approaches at party conferences where we are doing fringe events with Vince Cable, David Willetts and other leading commentators.”

Sir Patrick Stewart, actor and Chancellor of University of Huddersfield says:
“It goes without saying that unless we teach and train the next generation of experts in every field, from science and technology to arts and humanities, then regional growth will be stopped in its tracks.”

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Notes to editors:

About the Alliance:
University Alliance represents 23 major, business-focussed universities at the heart of the sector that deliver 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, Plymouth University, 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.

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