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.
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;
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.
Last week I was on the Gold Coast, in Australia, where I was speaking, as a guest of the Australian Regional Universities Network (RUN), at a conference hosted by Southern Cross University to discuss the role of universities in transforming local and regional economies.
The Higher Education Commission’s seventh inquiry is examining how Degree Apprenticeships (DAs) are being implemented. In 2015, the Government committed itself to overseeing the creation of three million new apprenticeships by 2020, and the development of DAs is seen as an important element of this policy. The reforms surrounding DAs, which combine workplace experiences with HE study, offer the opportunity for an apprentice to gain a full degree by the end of the apprenticeship.
“The advent of the local industrial strategy is placing a renewed focus on ‘place’, encouraging universities and the NHS to work collaboratively to help stimulate sustainable forms of growth and public service transformation. Dr Peter O’Brien, executive director of Yorkshire Universities, explains why this partnership presents a golden opportunity.
UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) is working with the Government to develop a plan for how best to meet the Government’s target for the UK to increase investment in research and development (R&D) to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, and by 3% in the future. UKRI is also examining “what constitutes reasonable balance” of R&D funding. Against this background, the Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry on the ‘balance and effectiveness of research and innovation spending’.
Read the consultation response YU submitted to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee here.