Delivering excellence across the UK

UK mapThe future success of economic growth in the UK will be based on the talent and innovation of people from across the country. Universities are the engines to build this capacity and drive innovation and create new industries in all our regions. We need a broad base of high performing universities to support this activity. The key strengths of UK universities are quality, excellence and choice, with a diverse range of outstanding universities that are transforming lives.

Why is a diverse university sector important?

  1. A diverse and excellent UK university sector supports a vibrant society and an innovative economy.
  2. To prepare for the new economy and a changing global jobs market, we need to harness the excellence that exists in different types of universities right across the UK.
  3. We need to maintain a healthy balance between research-intensive universities and our leading professional and applied institutions.

Examples of excellence

Excellence exists across the sector and across the country. The following case studies demonstrate how universities are critical to future economic growth and support our international position as a place people want to live, work and invest.

Supporting regional economic growth

Universities are important for their own sake, as centres of enquiry and learning, yet the UK’s higher education sector also has a vital role to play in the UK economy. Universities right across the sector generate and transfer commercially useable knowledge.

Attracts inward investment to support UK innovation

Universities are international organisations, operating internationally and forming partnerships with global business. As one of the UK’s major export industries, universities have the capacity to leverage investment for the benefit of the regional economy.

Leading cutting edge science

Around the world, policy-makers agree on the big issues that need tackling by our finest minds. Universities across the sector, through their world-leading research, advance our knowledge and understanding of these issues and solve many of the problems that drive them. Businesses big and small, charities and governments also have their own sets of challenges that universities are uniquely able to answer. Universities work with partners from around the world on research and innovation that is making a difference today.

Transforms lives with new opportunity

Fostering social mobility and inclusion is both a social and economic need. With 80% of new jobs in high-skill areas it is vital that we have a system that enables all those who have the ambition and ability to succeed at university to do so. Universities make a major contribution to social mobility in the UK. With over 25% of all students, Alliance universities take a diverse range of students, offer them a research-informed and highly focussed learning experience, enhance their employability skills and, as a result, their graduates have some of the highest rates of graduate-level employment.

Prepares a generation for the world of work

A rich and diverse supply of graduates is increasingly critical in our changing, global economy. Growth of new sectors means we need different graduates to meet the different needs of the economy. The Creative Industries sector employs 1.4m people in UK; has 10.6% of UK exports; and contributes 3.2% to UK GVA (by comparison the Aerospace industry employs 133,000; has a global market share of 17%, and contributes only 0.4% to UK GVA).

Further reading