Driving social mobility? Competitive collaboration in degree apprenticeship development

Guest blog by Claire Newhouse, Head of Apprenticeships and Skills, Leeds Trinity University

Degree apprenticeships present an opportunity for universities to contribute directly towards improving productivity by increasing the number of people in local and regional economies with higher-level skills.  They offer a new income stream for universities, but they also provide a means for diversifying HE entrants.  The dual role for apprenticeships, as a mechanism for boosting productivity and enhancing social mobility, is not without tension, although it can, at times, be taken for granted by government. 

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The link between KEF, anchor institutions and the Industrial Strategy

Monika Antal, Executive Manager

Alongside the Research Excellence Framework (REF) that assesses research, and a Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) that measures teaching we are now gearing up for the Knowledge Excellence Framework (KEF), which as you would expect will examine knowledge excellence. Yesterday’s announcement regarding the KEF pilots, of which the University of Sheffield will be one of the first participants, presents a timely opportunity to examine the broader context surrounding the KEF, and its linkages with other initiatives.

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Higher-level skills for the future

Guest blog by Professor Tim Thornton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Huddersfield

One of the key strengths of the Leeds City Region is its unique concentration of world-class universities, and the diverse contributions that each makes towards the higher-level skills and innovation agendas. As part of the wider Yorkshire region, Leeds City Region can rightly-claim to be a ‘skills magnet’, which is able to attract new forms of inward investment and act as a seedbed for regeneration and growth.

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Universities and Local Industrial Strategies ‘Part two: harnessing the expertise of universities’

In this guest blog, Kevin Richardson, from the Local Academy, makes the case why universities should take an active role in developing and implementing local industrial strategies.

Part one of this blog set out a number of reasons why universities could be forgiven for taking a sceptical approach to supporting the development of Local Industrial Strategies (LISs). However, the blog also argued that adopting a longer-term perspective may prove to be the best option.

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Civic universities and anchor institutions – from rhetoric to reality

Guest blog by Nicky Denison and Les Newby

The debate on the future of universities in the UK is a sculpted fog of opportunity and uncertainty.  Higher education (HE) is recognised as central to economic success more than ever before; and, with the growth of universities, there is scope for more people, businesses and communities to connect to the benefits that HE offers. But equally,

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Universities and Local Industrial Strategies ‘Part one: glass half-empty?’

In this guest blog, Kevin Richardson, from the Local Academy, makes the case why universities should take an active role in developing and implementing local industrial strategies.

Universities can be forgiven for taking a glass half-empty stance when supporting the development of Local Industrial Strategies (LISs). However, embracing a wider and longer-term perspective may prove the better option.

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YU on the front foot in thinking about future ‘growth’ funding

Kevin Richardson, Local Academy

Yorkshire Universities (YU) are very much on the front foot, working collaboratively with important local stakeholders, well in advance of the expected consultation on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The new strategic approach of YU is certainly helping members and their partners to prepare for important decisions ahead. Delivered in association with the Local Academy, those attending a recent workshop challenged each other to identify the five biggest challenges ahead;

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YU response to the UK2070 inquiry into regional inequalities

The UK2070 Commission is an independent inquiry into city and regional inequalities in the UK. Chaired by Lord Kerslake, it has been set up to conduct a review of the policy and spatial issues related to the UK’s long-term city and regional development. Read YU’s response in full here.

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The role of universities in remaking towns post-Brexit

Professor Roger Lewis, YU Associate 

Remaking British towns after Brexit: key actions for policy makers and planners, published by the Carnegie UK Trust is a timely contribution to discussions surrounding the opportunities and challenges facing the UK post-Brexit.

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