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.”