In response to the Treasury’s Spending Review today (27th October 2021), University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson said:
“Universities will be essential partners in delivering many of the plans announced in today’s Spending Review to level-up the UK, unleash innovation and cement the nation as a science superpower, achieve net zero, and deliver a high-skill economy.
Alliance universities support businesses to innovate and grow and align this with providing a pipeline of highly skilled talent based on the needs of employers and industry. We applaud the increased investment into Innovate UK and confirmation of Horizon Europe funding. However, it is disappointing that there is a delay to reaching the promised spending on R&D, which risks limiting opportunities to leverage private investment.
We agree that achieving a net zero strategy will be as a result of strengthening delivery of the UK Innovation Strategy, and look forward to working with government to further the crucial role that universities play in addressing the climate crisis.
We also welcome the commitment to Institutes of Technology and increasing the apprenticeships budget, which will support our work in upskilling, reskilling, and meeting local workforce needs.
As the Chancellor emphasised, the “awesome power of opportunity” should not be limited to a wealthy few, which is central to our missions as professional and technical universities working at the heart of our local communities across the UK. We hope this ambition will be borne out in the keenly awaited higher education settlement due to be announced in the coming weeks.”