Universities contributing more to the economy

Posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 in News| Share this article

Universities and higher education provided the UK economy with £2.8 billion worth of ideas and services last year, a rise of 6.5 per cent on the previous year, according to the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s annual survey.

The Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction Survey, published 13 July, surveyed 160 higher education institutes looking at how they exchanged knowledge with business, stimulated innovation, developed human capital and generated new enterprise.

The survey found increases in consultancy support provided for small and medium sized enterprises, in the total value of contract and collaborative research and in the extent to which institutions are allowing access to their specialised facilities.

The survey also highlights the ways in which higher education is creating new businesses through spin off companies.

Alan Langlands, chief executive of HEFCE, said: “This survey demonstrates the critical role that the higher education sector plays in delivering vital services to the business world and to society. Universities and higher education colleges are helping the economy in many different ways, by supporting new businesses, by creating ideas for commercial exploitation, and by preparing graduates entering the labour market.”

HEFCE 2009 news archive

Readers are invited to contact Joe Gaunt at the Polymer Centre for more information about how the University of Sheffield can assist businesses.