Region leads the way helping businesses develop international trade links

19th February 2014
The Leeds City Region is leading the way in building trade relationships with overseas markets through a pioneering programme to link international students with regional businesses.

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has teamed up with Yorkshire Universities and UKTI to deliver a pilot scheme to connect businesses with an international graduate or postgraduate student who can provide vital intelligence, language and cultural skills to help the company break into target export markets.
The concept originated from discussions last year between private sector members of the LEP’s Business Innovation and Growth Panel and senior representatives of the region’s universities.

The Prime Minister has since announced, following a trade mission to China last year, that UKTI will run a similar scheme nationally from summer 2014. Unlike any other part of the country, UKTI has committed to supporting the Yorkshire Universities and LEP scheme in the Leeds City Region instead of rolling out its own programme.

Eric Hawthorn, the LEP’s lead on international trade and MD of Shipley-based global telecommunications manufacturer, Radio Design, commented: “There are 34,000 international students in Yorkshire at any one time, and they are a tremendous but as yet untapped resource for the region’s businesses. With their first-hand cultural knowledge, language skills and contacts, international students can help SMEs gain a thorough understanding of doing business in target overseas markets, which is a key first step towards exporting. I’m delighted that this initiative by the LEP and Yorkshire Universities is not just being rolled out by UKTI here in Yorkshire, but has been recognised by the Prime Minister as an opportunity to boost export rates nationally.”
Professor Bob Cryan, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield and
Chair of the LEP’s Business Innovation and Growth Panel said: “International
graduates can help businesses that are looking to expand into overseas markets
gain a greater understanding about how business is done around the world. The
language skills and cultural awareness that these students can bring to a company
can be invaluable when embarking on a new business venture, and this specialist
scheme offers a flexible, cost effective way to bring skills and talent to the heart of
business.”

Mark Robson, Regional Director for UKTI Yorkshire and the Humber,
commented: “Two of the most significant barriers companies face in entering
overseas markets are a lack of local knowledge and insight about a target market,
and a lack of dedicated resource. This programme offers scope to solve both issues,
and it should prove enormously beneficial for many local companies.”
The pilot scheme aims to support a small number of placements in the 2013 – 2014
academic year. The placements will contribute to the LEP’s overall drive to boost
exports in the Leeds City Region through its We are International campaign.

For more information about the scheme, visit:

New head for Yorkshire Universities

20th January 2014
Emily Wolton has been named as the new Executive Director of Yorkshire Universities, the membership association representing all 12 higher education institutions in Yorkshire.

A public policy specialist, Emily joined Yorkshire Universities as development manager in 2006 and has seen the organisation successfully develop in response to changing regional and national higher education priorities.

Emily is replacing Professor Roger Lewis who retired at the end of December after three and a half years in post. The Yorkshire Universities’ Board recognised that Emily was ideally placed to provide a continuality of service to its member universities.

Professor David Fleming, Vice Chancellor of York St John University and Chair to the Board of Directors of Yorkshire Universities, said: “Emily brings experience and her own vision to this important role and I am confident that she will make it a success.

“The Board is committed to a three year strategic plan to strengthen our contribution to stakeholders in and beyond Yorkshire and we believe that Emily’s in-depth understanding of the region and sector will help us to deliver that ambition.”

Commenting on her new post, Emily said: “I am delighted to be able to lead Yorkshire Universities through its next challenges. I will continue to look for new collaborations and partnerships to maximise the value and impact of higher education in Yorkshire.”

Sir Andrew Witty Review preliminary findings released

8th August 2013
The preliminary findings of Sir Andrew Witty's independent review of universities and growth were published on 9th July 2013. The findings cover a number of themes, including how universities can play a stronger role in economic development. You can read the preliminary findings in full here. Yorkshire Universities and its members are proud to see the collaborative Higher Education Local Enterprise Partnership (HE LEP) Project referenced within the preliminary report on page four. You can read the preliminary findings in full here.
 
The review, which is lead by Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, was launched in April by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts. The launch was followed closely by a call for evidence, which closed on 31st May 2013. Yorkshire Universities submitted a response to the call for evidence, including a case study of the HE LEP Project.
 
Sir Witty will make recommendations in his final report of the review at the end of the summer 2013

Yorkshire universities back Graduate Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

by India Woof, 27th June 2013
Yorkshire’s seventh annual Graduate Entrepreneurship Boot Camp kicks off on Monday, involving entrepreneurial students and graduates from across the region.
 
The four day residential event is organised by the Graduate Entrepreneurship Project, an ERDF funded initiative originally founded by the team here at Yorkshire Universities. The project supports the region's students and graduates into business and self-employment and is a collaboration between ten Yorkshire higher education institutions, co-ordinated by the University of Huddersfield.
 
Now in its seventh year, next weeks’ Boot Camp will include a key note speech from Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012, Ben Allen, whose Scarborough-based business Oomph provides activities for the elderly and infirm in care home and day centres across the country.
 
Other guest speakers will include Dr. Kelly Smith, Head of Enterprise at the University of Huddersfield, as well as experts in finance, marketing, law and intellectual property. They will present alongside past beneficiaries of Yorkshire’s Graduate Entrepreneurship Project who have gone on to launch successful businesses.

It's always great to hear about a Yorkshire success story and the team here at Yorkshire Universities would like to wish all the students and graduates taking part in the Bootcamp the very best of luck and we will look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

Yorkshire success at Guardian Higher Education Awards

28th February 2013
Yorkshire's universities were rewarded in three categories of the Guardian Higher Education Awards, held at Senate House in London on the 27th February. Yorkshire's institutions received a win and two runner up positions at the Awards, which recognise best practice, achievement and innovation, proving the quality of higher education in Yorkshire and the Humber.

University of Huddersfield Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan won the prestigious award of Inspiring Leader, taking over a third of the public votes and fighting off competition from seven leading HE figures to be become the first recipient of the title. The Huddersfield Vice-Chancellor was delighted to win: “I was both flattered and surprised to find that I had been nominated, so you can imagine how I felt when my name was announced as the winner,” said Professor Cryan.

The University of Huddersfield also came runner up in the student experience category for their project entitled 'MyReading'. The interactive reading list software, provides access to reading lists and journal articles, as well as links to videos, art and music websites.
Rounding off a great night for Yorkshire, Leeds Metropolitan University was also awarded runner up position in the sustainability category for their Zero Waste to Landfill contract.  The contract has lead to the university influencing local recycling businesses decisions to invest in greater capacity and using its procurement power to ensure that, for example, contractors must now meet a 90% recycling target for refurbishment and construction projects.
Sue Holmes, Director of Estates, said: "This is another great recognition of our sustainability activities at Leeds Metropolitan University. We are committed to making continuing improvements and feel that the work we have done in terms of management waste is a step change for the sector and the waste industry. We hope it will encourage others to look at  using this sort of system." - See more at: http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/news/sustainability-project-shortlisted-in-guardian-university-awards07012013.htm?type=external#sthash.oS6V0P1m.dpuf
"This is another great recognition of our sustainability activities at Leeds Metropolitan University. We are committed to making continuing improvements and feel that the work we have done in terms of management waste is a step change for the sector and the waste industry. We hope it will encourage others to look at  using this sort of system." - See more at: http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/news/sustainability-project-shortlisted-in-guardian-university-awards07012013.htm?type=external#sthash.oS6V0P1m.dpuf
"This is another great recognition of our sustainability activities at Leeds Metropolitan University. We are committed to making continuing improvements and feel that the work we have done in terms of management waste is a step change for the sector and the waste industry. We hope it will encourage others to look at  using this sort of system." - See more at: http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/news/sustainability-project-shortlisted-in-guardian-university-awards07012013.htm?type=external#sthash.oS6V0P1m.dpuf
"This is another great recognition of our sustainability activities at Leeds Metropolitan University. We are committed to making continuing improvements and feel that the work we have done in terms of management waste is a step change for the sector and the waste industry. We hope it will encourage others to look at  using this sort of system." - See more at: http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/news/sustainability-project-shortlisted-in-guardian-university-awards07012013.htm?type=external#sthash.oS6V0P1m.dpuf
"This is another great recognition of our sustainability activities at Leeds Metropolitan University. We are committed to making continuing improvements and feel that the work we have done in terms of management waste is a step change for the sector and the waste industry. We hope it will encourage others to look at  using this sort of system." - See more at: http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/news/sustainability-project-shortlisted-in-guardian-university-awards07012013.htm?type=external#sthash.oS6V0P1m.dpuf
"This is another great recognition of our sustainability activities at Leeds Metropolitan University. We are committed to making continuing improvements and feel that the work we have done in terms of management waste is a step change for the sector and the waste industry. We hope it will encourage others to look at  using this sort of system." - See more at: http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/news/sustainability-project-shortlisted-in-guardian-university-awards07012013.htm?type=external#sthash.oS6V0P1m.dpuf

All award winners and runners up have contributed to the Guardian University Awards Ideas Bank, which is a forum to share good practice, and has more information on projects and individuals from across all award categories.

For more information on Professor Bob Cryan's award, please see here.
Yorkshire Higher Education App launched

Yorkshire higher education smartphone app launched

14th February 2013
Yorkshire Universities is proud to announce the launch of the new Yorkshire Higher Education smartphone application, entitled 'Study In Yorkshire'.

Yorkshire Universities worked with colleagues from the universities of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan, Huddersfield, Bradford, York, York St John, Hull and Sheffield Hallam to develop the content which promotes Yorkshire as a global learning destination.

You can visit the web version of the app at www.studyyorkshire.com, or download the app here.

We are very proud of the completed app, which will soon be promoted by our member institutions. We are also keen to gain feedback, please send any thoughts through to i.woof@yorkshireuniversities.ac.uk.

Knowledge Transfer

29th August 2012
There have been changes in the Yorkshire Universities' Knowledge Transfer (KT) Directors' Network.  Ian Rowe, in his capacity as KT Director at the University of Bradford, has stepped down as Chair to pursue his new role in the YU team as HE-LEP Liaison Director.

Bill Walker, Director of Knowledge Exchange at the University of Hull will now act as Chair of this dynamic and productive group.  Professor Liz Towns-Andrews, Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of Huddersfield, will act as Deputy Chair of the group.

These changes occur at an exciting time for the organisation with the KT Directors Network leading on the development of a £10m Yorkshire Innovation Fund.

Yorkshire Universities announces new Board Chair

29th August 2012
Professor David Fleming, Vice Chancellor of York St John University, will take over as Chair of the Board of Directors of Yorkshire Universities.

Professor Fleming takes over from Professor Philip Jones, Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, who has come to the end of his two-year term as Chair.  Professor Brian Cantor, Vice Chancellor of the University of York will act as Deputy Chair.

Professor Jones has successfully led YU through an interesting change of policy over the past two years.

Universities back the skills of own students

29th August 2012
Yorkshire Universities is working with the universities of Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds Metropolitan and York St John to create 12-week paid internships for graduates across different business areas.

Leeds Metropolitan University was one of the first institutions to implement the initiative that backs the skills and talent of the universities' own students by giving invaluable work experience to graduates.

With competition for jobs at an all-time high, Phil Marsland, Careers Services Manager at Leeds Metropolitan University, says that he wanted to use the internship programme as an opportunity to help as many students as possible.

Phil said: "We are large employers and we wanted to find out first-hand what the issues are and set a good example.  Our aim with this internship scheme is to provide new options for graduates who are disadvantaged in the labour market through lack of confidence or lack of opportunity."

Leeds Metropolitan University graduate 24-year-old Devyani Lamba was dismayed when her hard work and determination to get a job kept ending in despair ... until her own university came to the rescue.

Devyani said: "It's not easy to get a paid internship where your employer is so committed to the personnel development component of it.  This internship presented the perfect opportunity for me to gain valuable skills to increase my employability."

Joanne Beaumont, Head of Careers & Employability at the University of Bradford, says that this project is about ‘valuing our own product’. Joanne said: “The University encourages employers to value internships for students because we know how rewarding such placements can be for both parties. This internship programme is about extending the excellent practice we have with students to include graduates."

Emily Wolton, Development Manager at Yorkshire Universities, says the new Graduate Internship Scheme fills a gap created by funding cuts and is a clear statement by the universities of total confidence and belief in their own graduates.  Emily said: "The University Careers Services and Graduates Yorkshire have successfully delivered over a 1,000 internships for our graduates in the last year.  Although funding for these places has ended, the expertise and knowledge they acquired still remains, as does the need for such opportunities.

"Our region’s universities are a microcosm of the graduate labour market with so many of roles and professions represented amongst staff and departments such as marketing, accountancy and project management.

This programme demonstrates the universities’ commitment to their own students and shows how much we all value their talent and skills.”

Huddersfield University Enterprise and Innovation Centre opens

29th August 2012
Huddersfield University's £12 million Enterprise and Innovation Centre (EIC) opened this summer.  It is a landmark project for the university and signals a new approach to university-business engagement.

The facility, funded through the European Regional Development Fund, aims to establish a unique environment to support spin-in and spin-out companies linked to the university to foster growth and economic regeneration within Huddersfield and the region.

The Centre brings together all the elements required for successful business growth under one roof - access to markets, finance, technology and skills, as well as traditional business support services.

The centre enables university researchers to engage directly with industry and maximise the impact of their research and development activities.  It also provides the infrastructure and resources to enable knowledge transfer and other collaborative project work between the University and external partners fostering a new approach to Open Innovation within the university environment.

Professor Liz Towns-Andrews, Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of Huddersfield, said: "The EIC will be business-focussed, business-facing and it will be the primary vehicle for the University engaging with business.  It will include networking opportunities and facilities which create an environment and community which will facilitate innovation in a number of ways.

"We want the centre to be more than just office space.  It will have facilities and initiatives that will generate innovation across supply chains from SMEs to large corporates and our own start-ups.

"It will be linked to the other business centres that Kirklees has in place already but will also have a different offering.  We want the companies to be high growth, high tech businesses that are aligned to the research strengths of the university."