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Government urged to use universities to drive growth outside of London

Yorkshire universities

Graduates from universities in Yorkshire add £2.2bn to the regional economy each year, according to a new report.

The figures have been published today by a think-tank which is calling on the Government to use universities to help ensure more growth takes place outside of London.

The university think-tank million+ said that more needs to be done to harness university’s power to drive regional economies.

In a new report, Smarter Regions Smarter Britain, it says the Government should set new regional targets to get more people into higher education and create 50,000 additional postgraduate places linked to part-time courses with a professional, industry or public service focus.

It says this could be achieved with money raised from the sale of the student loan book to the private sector.

Professor Michael Gunn, chaiman of university think-tank million+, said: “Local initiatives and a focus on core cities outside London will not in themselves tackle the sharp differences in regional growth in the UK. In the run-up to the election, political parties need to be much more ambitious.

“Universities have long been recognised as key economic, social and cultural powerhouses in their localities and they should be centre-stage in a new strategy for the regions.

“This report uses new economic modelling which confirms that graduates add real value to the regions in which they study. It is clear that investment in higher education delivers big regional pay-offs for employers and the Treasury as well as individuals.” (Yorkshire Post)

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