Daniel Monaghan, Senior Researcher in Education & Skills, writes on the role of universities in regional levelling up in a new report from the Centre for Inequality and Levelling Up
Leading voices from across policy, politics, and academia have set out a bold agenda to address inequality ahead of the government’s Levelling Up White Paper, set to be released this month.
The report, Levelling Up - What is it and can it work, published by the Centre for Inequality and Levelling Up (CEILUP) at the University of West London, brings together 16 leading thinkers on levelling up including representatives of the All Party Parliamentary Group for ‘Left Behind’ Neighbourhoods, Rt Hon Justine Greening ex Secretary of State for Education; Rt Hon Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top; Lord Filkin; Policy Connect; Local Trust; Gordon Marsden ex Shadow Secretary of State for Further and Higher Education; The Salvation Army; Stoke-on-Trent City Council; and universities from across the UK.
In the report Daniel Monaghan, Senior Researcher for Education & Skills, sets out the case for empowering small and modern universities to help regional levelling up:
“The challenge of levelling up regional economies across the UK cannot be met without the higher education sector. The UK is home to one of the world’s foremost higher education systems, containing many of the world’s oldest and most elite institutions. These institutions have played an important role in our society and economy for hundreds of years, producing knowledge, innovation and research that has led to several world-changing discoveries.
“Beyond ground-breaking scientific discoveries, universities are also epicentres of their communities. They are major employers, skills providers, research centres and business partners – serving in the role of ‘anchor institutions’ for their local areas and region. All of these elements will be important to delivering meaningful economic levelling up and consequential rise in living standards. For too long many parts of the UK have been blighted by low economic growth, low wages, and low productivity.”