New research published today by Universities UK (UUK), ‘Universities and the UK’s economic recovery: an analysis of future impact’, which was compiled by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE), predicts that over the next five years universities in the south east will:
- provide support to businesses and charities worth almost £2.4 billion
- give 8,000 years’ worth of upskilling and training to businesses and charities
- help 1,750 new businesses and charities to be formed
- train 18,000 nurses, 6,000 medics, 26,000 teachers.
It comes as UUK launches #GettingResults - a campaign to put universities at the heart of the economic and social recovery - with a renewed commitment from universities to do even more to reach out to new partners locally and nationally and deliver even greater impact than currently estimated.
Canterbury Christ Church University is already supporting local businesses in the Kent and Medway area through partnerships offering training and knowledge exchange opportunities.
The skills of Canterbury Christ Church graduates will also have an important role to play in the future success of businesses and sectors during the Covid-19 recovery process.
The University has invested significantly to support local STEM businesses through the Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub, with the aim to fill the engineering and technology skills gap, increase diversity in the workforce and support a more dynamic and responsive industry/university knowledge exchange model.
EDGE Hub has already engaged with over 2,000 local businesses through events and master classes and over 60 students have supported businesses on projects including horizon scanning and new product development.
Based within the Verena Holmes Building, a new £65m STEM building, EDGE Hub has access to facilities designed to support industry, with equipment purchased based on regional need and a focus on industry 4.0 and industry 5.0. It also includes the ability for businesses to remotely access specialist equipment and expertise in areas such as advanced manufacturing, chemical engineering, mechatronics and computing.
A local biotech company will be amongst the first to access the facilities. The company produces wood free and plastic free materials from annually recurring crop waste, grasses and biowaste. A University biomolecular science graduate will be supporting the company on developing a new, light and super strong material for specialist applications such as wind turbines, hybrid cars and satellites, making use of the high-tech science labs to undertake materials analysis and testing.
Professor Mike Weed, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), said: “We believe our students, staff, researchers, and graduates have so much to offer. We are proud of their knowledge, skills and expertise and we look forward to seeing them help businesses and industries bounce back in the years to come. We must now make sure that we work closely with our local employers and partners so they are getting the most out of what our University can provide in this challenging process of recovery.”
Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Universities UK’s President, said: "By working closely with their partners, including local government and employers, universities will play a vital role in the UK's post-Covid recovery. Together, they can contribute significantly to future economic success and improve lives. Moving forward it is important that employers fully take advantage of universities’ support and develop productive relationships so the nation can bounce back stronger from the pandemic.”
Notes to editors
- Universities UK (UUK) is the collective voice of 140 universities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Its mission is to create the conditions for UK universities to be the best in the world, maximising their positive impact locally, nationally, and globally. Universities UK acts on behalf of universities, represented by their heads of institution. Visit: universitiesuk.ac.uk.
- The report ‘Universities and the UK’s economic recovery: an analysis of future impact’ was compiled by James Ransom, Head of Research at the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE). It is based on Higher Education Statistics Agency, ONS, and Innovate UK data.