University of Birmingham has leading role in nation’s recovery from pandemic

The University of Birmingham is already supporting local employers in the West M

The University of Birmingham is already supporting local employers in the West Midlands by directly supporting new start-ups and small firms but also through research which helps understand the key skills gaps in the region.

The University of Birmingham is supporting Universities UK’s economic and social recovery campaign #GettingResults to help people and businesses recover from the wide-ranging damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

New research published today by Universities UK (UUK), ’Universities and the UK’s economic recovery: an analysis of future impact’, which was compiled by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE), predicts that over the next five years universities in the West Midlands will:

  • Be involved in research projects worth almost 2 billion.
  • Be part of regeneration projects worth 547 million to the local economy.
  • Help 1,300 new businesses and charities to be formed.
  • Train 16,000 nurses, 5,000 medics, 18,000 teachers.

It comes as UUK launches #GettingResults - a campaign to put universities at the heart of the economic and social recovery - with a renewed commitment from universities to do even more to reach out to new partners locally and nationally and deliver even greater impact than currently estimated.

The University of Birmingham is already supporting local employers in the West Midlands by directly supporting new start-ups and small firms but also through research which helps understand the key skills gaps in the region. The #GettingResults campaign also coincides at the same time as the University of Birmingham being recognised by Research England’s inaugural Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) for its contribution to the regional economy of the West Midlands. KEF benchmarks universities in England on how they are working with partners, serving the economy, supporting their communities, and benefitting the wider public through the knowledge they create.

The first KEF results covered knowledge exchange activity recorded between August 2016 and July 2019 and ranked the University of Birmingham first amongst all UK universities for local growth and regeneration with income generated for the region accounting for 21% of total sector income which totaled over 41m - more than four times that of the next institution.

Professor Simon Collinson , Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Regional Engagement and Director of the West Midlands Regional Economic Development Institute (WM REDI) and City-REDI said: "The University of Birmingham believes our students, staff, researchers, and graduates have so much to offer. We are proud of their knowledge, skills and expertise and we look forward to seeing them help businesses and industries bounce back in the years to come. We work closely with stakeholders in the region, including the City Council, the Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnerships to develop policies for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the region. The University is also a founding partner of the UK Civic Universities Network and part of a national effort to enhance the contribution of universities to their host regions."

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE , Universities UK’s President, said: "By working closely with their partners, including local government and employers, universities will play a vital role in the UK’s post-Covid recovery. Together, they can contribute significantly to future economic success and improve lives. Moving forward it is important that employers fully take advantage of universities’ support and develop productive relationships so the nation can bounce back stronger from the pandemic."

For more information please email Hasan Salim Patel, Communications Manager (Arts, Law and Social Sciences) on +44 (0)7966 311 409 or out of hours office number on +44 (0)7580 744943.

The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.

Universities UK (UUK) is the collective voice of 140 universities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Its mission is to create the conditions for UK universities to be the best in the world, maximising their positive impact locally, nationally, and globally. Universities UK acts on behalf of universities, represented by their heads of institution.

The report ’Universities and the UK’s economic recovery: an analysis of future impact’ was compiled by James Ransom, Head of Research at the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE). It is based on Higher Education Statistics Agency, ONS, and Innovate UK data.

Find out more about Universities UK’s #GettingResults campaign: As part of the campaign, universities will develop a series of pledges and partnership agreements with leading employers and bodies representing sectors with strategic importance to the nation’s economic and social recovery. These will outline the role that universities can play supporting business and other partners, identify where these partnerships and be improved, and encourage increased collaboration to benefit society.

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