Letter in the Financial Times: what’s miss­ing in the con­ver­sa­tion about uni­versit­ies

In a letter to the Financial Times, University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson talks about what’s missing in the conversations about the current challenges facing the higher education sector.

“Robert Shrims­ley’s piece on the crisis in higher edu­ca­tion (Opin­ion, Janu­ary 18) sum­mar­ises the fin­an­cial chal­lenges facing uni­versit­ies in Eng­land well. There’s something miss­ing however in the con­ver­sa­tion about the value of uni­versit­ies, which too often only focuses on our sec­tor being “world lead­ing”.

If a uni­versity were to fail, it would not be the inter­na­tional status that would be missed. The impact would be most keenly felt on the eco­nomy and ser­vices in that uni­versity’s region. The regional loss for NHS staff, engin­eers, archi­tects and design­ers would have a tan­gible impact on real lives. So too, the loss of the sup­port uni­versit­ies provide to local busi­nesses and the stu­dent start-ups and research spin­outs that attract invest­ment to local areas.

Yes, our uni­versity sec­tor is world lead­ing, but it is also so, so much more than that.”

Read the letter on the Financial Times website here.

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