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Innovation, growth and skills

Universities play a vital role in supporting business and communities, promoting local and national economic growth and innovation, and supplying highly skilled and employable graduates. ​​


 

We encourage collaboration and the exchange of knowledge between universities and businesses, local authorities, professional bodies, charities and a wide range of other stakeholders to ensure that businesses and employers are supported to grow, become more innovative and productive, and can access the skills that they need.​
 

Supporting and promoting universities' contribution to innovation, growth and skills​

Our work on innovation, growth and skills covers a range of areas and projects. In all of these we seek to support and promote the significant efforts universities are already making.

  • Skills
  • Degree apprenticeships
  • Level 4 and 5 higher education
  • Collaboration with sector bodies
  • Knowledge Exchange Concordat
  • European Structural and Investment Funds
 

Skills

We support the development of strong links between universities and employers to boost the employability of graduates and improve recognition of the value of graduate skills.
  

Degree apprenticeships

We are working to support the development of degree apprenticeships in England and the development of wider apprenticeships policy across the UK. Our report, The future of degree apprenticeships outlines how to ensure degree apprenticeships fully meet employers' skills needs, provide opportunities and contribute to productivity and economic growth.
  

Level 4 and 5 higher education

We are supporting efforts to increase the flexibility of higher education provision at level 4 and 5. This will help meet employer demand, increase options for learners and develop provision that better suits the future shape of work. This work includes the development of technical education at level 4 and 5. We have responded to the most recent government consultation on this topic.
 

Collaboration with sector bodies

We engage with sector bodies that are identifying higher level skills needs and seeking to increase and improve their engagement with universities. We have been working with the digital sector, the film and television sector and the financial services sector.
 

Knowledge Exchange​ Concordat

We are leading on the development of the Knowledge Exchange Concordat in collaboration with GuildHE and Research England. The concordat seeks to both enhance knowledge exchange within universities through the exchange of good practice, highlight the good practice that exists and act as a catalyst for collaboration between universities and with employers.
 

European Structural and Investment Funds​

In England we represent the sector in the European Structural Investment Funds Programme, which universities use to help them collaborate with businesses, charities and local enterprise partnerships on innovation, skills development, and business support and advice.​
 
England has been allocated €6.9 billion from the European Union's European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) between 2014 and 2020. We are working closely with the government on the placed successor to the ESIF Programme the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
 


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The economic impact of the London higher education sector

Report
3 April 2014
Key economic aspects of the higher education sector in the East Midlands in the academic year 2011-12 and of the sector’s impact on the region and on the rest of the UK.

The economic impact of the North West higher education sector

Report
3 April 2014
Key economic aspects of the higher education sector in the North West of England in the academic year 2011-12 and of the sector’s impact on the region and on the rest of the UK.

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The economic impact of the North East higher education sector

Report
3 April 2014
Key economic aspects of the higher education sector in the North East of England in the academic year 2011-12 and of the sector’s impact on the region and on the rest of the UK.

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The economic impact of the Yorkshire and Humberside higher education sector

Report
3 April 2014
Key economic aspects of the higher education sector in the Yorkshire and Humberside in the academic year 2011-12 and of the sector’s impact on the region and on the rest of the UK.

The economic impact of the West Midlands higher education sector

Report
3 April 2014
Key economic aspects of the higher education sector in the West Midlands in the academic year 2011-12 and of the sector’s impact on the region and on the rest of the UK.

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The economic impact of the South West higher education sector

Report
3 April 2014
Key economic aspects of the higher education sector in the South West of England in the academic year 2011-12 and of the sector’s impact on the region and on the rest of the UK.

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The economic impact of the South East higher education sector

Report
3 April 2014
Key economic aspects of the higher education sector in the South East of England in the academic year 2011-12 and of the sector’s impact on the region and on the rest of the UK.

The economic impact of Ulster University on the Northern Ireland economy

Report
3 April 2014
Analysis of the economic impact of Ulster University and its students on the Northern Ireland economy.

Impact of universities on the UK economy

The impact of universities on the UK economy

Report
3 April 2014
​This report highlights universities’ increasingly significant impact on the economy in terms of output, contribution to GDP, job creation, and overseas investment.

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The funding challenge for universities

Report
7 November 2013
In the wake of significant reforms to the ways universities are funded, both universities and government are faced by a number of challenges and financial pressures.

Blog

Seizing the opportunity to offer more people the chance of success through higher technical education

21 November 2019
UUK's Greg Wade on the 'missing middle' of level 4 and 5 qualifications, and shares UUK's recommendations for government.

City with blue sky

General election 2019: skills, jobs and opportunity

11 November 2019
UUK's Karmjit Kaur on the policies that all parties should commit to, to ensure UK universities remain a global success story.

News

Universities UK welcomes UCAS figures on disadvantaged students

28 November 2019
Universities UK (UUK) today welcomes figures showing that disadvantaged students are 61% more likely to enter university now than they were ten years’ ago.

Universities UK responds to Labour manifesto

21 November 2019
UUK President Julia Buckingham responds to the release of the Labour manifesto

The team

portrait of charlie coyte

Charlotte Coyte

Policy Analyst
Universities UK

Julie Tam

Julie Tam

Deputy Director of Policy
Universities UK

Greg Wade

Greg Wade

Policy Manager
Universities UK