Policy Engagement and Y-PERN

Part of the core activity of Yorkshire Universities is to work with and to influence policymakers nationally and in the region. The academic policy engagement agenda is gaining traction across the UK, and YU has been instrumental in ensuring that the regional higher education contribution to this agenda is recognised and valued by national government and local and regional authorities. One of the mechanisms by which YU influences policymaking is through the Research England-funded Yorkshire and Humber Policy Engagement and Research Network (Y-PERN).

You can read more about our policy engagement work in our consultation responses and briefings.


Y-PERN stands for Yorkshire & Humber Policy Engagement & Research Network.

The project has recently been awarded £3.9m of funding from the Research England Development (RED) Fund, a £27 million annual fund that supports institutional strategic developmental projects in higher education research and knowledge exchange.

Y-PERN is a novel network-based approach to inclusive and place-based academic policy engagement and research. By enhancing the effectiveness of inclusive regional development policy and strategy, Y-PERN will play a critical role in fulfilling the commitment made in the Memorandum of Understanding between Yorkshire Universities (YU) and Yorkshire and Humber Councils (YHC) to work together to identify actions and solutions to some of the major opportunities and challenges facing the region.

You can learn more about what Y-PERN do on their website.


Y-PERN builds on existing policy and research engagement structures and mechanisms within across all parts of Yorkshire and the Humber.

Y-PERN is founded on a federated model of academic policy engagement and research, building on what currently works in Hull and East Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and York and North Yorkshire. At the same time, Y-PERN provides a framework to share knowledge and experience between the different geographies in Yorkshire, to encourage learning and improvement, and to work collaboratively on issues that are best examined at the regional level.

Find out more about the multi-university, multidisciplinary “Place-based Economic Recovery Network (PERN)” pilot that was established in 2020 and is prominent in the Y-PERN bid. You can read related PERN publications here.