Universities as Place Makers – HEFCE Chief challenges West Midlands

Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands

The speaker at the Birmingham Science City’s Chief Technology Officers Group on 11 December 2014 was Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Those that braved the wet, wild morning were treated to a concise, comprehensive and current overview of ways that Universities engage with the place that they are located, and the importance being placed on this role across the political spectrum as we move towards a general election. Professor Atkins, as an old friend of the region, was quick to throw down the gauntlet for West Midlands Universities, suggesting that they were very well placed to grow their role as Place Makers.

The ways that universities can fulfil this Place Making role can be summarised as follows:

Engaging with schools has been a required activity of universities for a long time with £600m per year spent on outreach in England…

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