Unpacking the role of universities as civic anchor institutions

Professor Roger Lewis, YU Associate

The phrase ‘anchor institution’ is currently in vogue but what does it mean in reality? What defines an ‘anchor’? What kinds of organisation are in a good place to take on the role? How might their different contributions complement each other as part of a wider system?  More specifically for YU, what role should universities play? These questions were posed at a roundtable convened last week to discuss a new report published by Newcastle University researchers on universities and place-based leadership.

Creative Industries in Yorkshire and the Humber

Dr Peter O’Brien, Executive Director

According to an independent review of the creative industries, the creative industries are vital to the UK’s long-term productivity and global success. This is even more significant in a post-Brexit era, where universities will have an important role. A 2018 study by Nesta found that research collaborations between universities and creative industries supported by UK Research Councils and Innovate UK had more than doubled between 2006 and 2017. But progress was needed to ensure that the growth potential of the UK’s creative industries benefitted more people and more regions, and supported social mobility, greater equality and progression.

‘Levelling up’ the UK regions

Dr Peter O’Brien, Executive Director

A very Happy New Year to YU members, partners and friends, and best wishes for a successful 2020.

I was fortunate enough to be able to take time out over the festive period to pause, recharge the batteries and spend some quality time with the family. During the past two weeks I did, however, keep one eye on the latest stories in relation to the new government’s plans for local and regional development following the Conservative Party’s victory in last month’s General Election. In particular, a couple of news items caught my attention, both of which relate directly to YU’s strategic objective of ensuring that the higher education sector collectively in Yorkshire plays a stronger role in attracting more investment and greater prosperity to the region.


Bradford is attracting a growing number of ambitious start-ups.

'Go big or go home'

HS2 won’t ‘level up’ regions without more trains and buses - the UK2070 Commission delivers its final report into regional inequality

The latest edition of @AGCAS journal Phoenix highlights collaborative activity within HEIs to synergise #careers, #employability and #enterprise.

As graduates navigate a transient labour market, a deeper understanding of #entrepreneurship is crucial.

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