Universities and colleges and the Industrial Strategy: exploring data on knowledge exchange, research and skills

ISC-UUK report cover
The Industrial Strategy Council commissioned Universities UK to undertake data research to better understand the contribution of further and higher education to the UK’s prosperity. This research paper summarises the key findings and provides a more detailed set of data visualisations.

Headline findings 

Universities and colleges make significant contributions to the UK’s prosperity, by growing and supporting new businesses, producing and translating research, and attracting and developing people. 

Some of the headline findings of this paper include: 

  • The evidence presented supports the value of a diverse education sector, as the contributions of universities to knowledge exchange vary by activity. 

  • Graduate start-ups from teaching-led institutions on average receive less external investment than those from research-intensive institutions but produce comparable overall turnover.

  • There is an uneven allocation of examined research funding across the UK. 


The visualisations focus on three themes: knowledge exchange, research and innovation, and skills development. These visualisations also make regional comparisons possible.

See the visualisations 

Technical appendix

There is a technical appendix to supplement this research paper. The appendix provides further details about data sources, methodology, and important background to the areas discussed in the main report. 

Download the technical appendix 


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