Date: 22nd March 2018
In recent years there have been a number of significant policy developments for higher education in England. The Higher Education and Research Act(2017) has paved the way for sweeping changes to the regulatory framework across the sector, with the creation of the Office for Students, Research England as well as the newly formed UK Research and Innovation, to measure and encourage greater competition across the higher education landscape. New metrics for assessing teaching, research and knowledge exchange activity are being introduced. The government’s recently announced national Industrial Strategy sees a major role for universities to drive economic growth in local areas and to close the productivity gap.
All of this has important implications for HEIs and the role they are expected to play as “anchor institutions”; driving the economic and social development of their local areas. It brings both new opportunities and threats. Regeneris has been appointed by UCLan to examine the university’s role as an anchor institution in light of wider policy developments nationally and regionally for Lancashire. We are also updating the quantitative assessment of the university’s economic and social contributions.
This comes at an important time, with areas around the country starting to develop their Local Industrial Strategies. It also coincides with the launch of UPP’s Civic University Commission, a major new independent inquiry looking into how universities can best serve their places in the 21st Century.
Regeneris will be chairing a session on these very topics at HEFCE’s Conference on Delivering the Industrial Strategy, next Wednesday 28th March in London.
Check out our #RegenerisHEI campaign for more insights around the role and impact universities have within their respective local and national context, including a recent guest blog by David Marlow and our own reflections on the impact of HEIs and the critical factors for accessing public funding. For more information on our work in this area, please contact Tim Fanning.
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