Universities essential to government's growth plans

Issue date: 19 September 2011

Today (Monday 19 September) the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and 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.

Nick Wilson, Managing Director of HP, UK and Ireland, commenting on the relationship with UWE said, “We believe that universities can use their relationship with local communities and businesses, teamed with the new technologies that they have at their disposal, to lead economic growth.”

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of UWE said, “With UWE's graduate employment being in the top dozen of universities we believe UWE is playing an important part in the region's success.”

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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