Business leaders in the North East have welcomed our new report which puts pressure on the government to tackle the regional imbalances in the economy.
As reported in The Journal last week, the Smarter Regions Smarter Britain report, compiled by the university think-tank million+, revealed that North East graduates contribute £1.4bn to the regional economy.
It argues that the government is not taking advantage of the contribution universities and their graduates make to regional economies and highlights the case for universities to be placed at the centre of strategies to boost regional growth, citing collaborative initiatives at the University of Sunderland as examples of best practice.
Professor Peter Fidler, University of Sunderland Vice-Chancellor, and recently appointed North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) board member with the higher education remit, welcomed the report.
He said: “This highlights clearly what the majority in the region already know, that graduates add real value to the North East economy, as well as to the wider society."
“There are many examples, from the region’s five universities, of the impact the institutions and their students are having on the economy."
“What is evident is that even more could be achieved through greater support, such as that mentioned in the report."
“The NELEP is working closely with universities to support the skills agenda and help boost the regional economy – greater collaboration between universities and businesses, suggested in the report, is a key element within this.”