Yorkshire's Universities Skilling-up the Northern Powerhouse

Yorkshire’s universities high on the Westminster agenda

Senior figures from Yorkshire’s universities are heading to Westminster this week to meet with MPs and Ministers to discuss strategies and new opportunities to capitalise and develop the excellent work happening across the region to build the Yorkshire economy.

The high level delegation of business leaders and senior academics have been invited to the Houses of Parliament by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Yorkshire & Northern Lincolnshire to a meeting entitled ‘Yorkshire’s Universities: Skilling-up the Northern Powerhouse’.

The Yorkshire delegation will use the opportunity to showcase the many areas of best practice that are contributing to the success of the region, including highly successful collaborations between business and higher education that are leading to job creation and innovative product development.

The event is being sponsored by Yorkshire Universities, the membership association that represents all 12 higher education institutions in Yorkshire. Emily Wolton, Executive Director of Yorkshire Universities, said: “Yorkshire’s universities have a long-standing tradition of working in partnership to provide a strong collective offer to our region’s businesses.

“The complex needs of business can be met by a regional network of universities giving access to every type of higher education provider - from large research intensives to specialist art colleges - and a full range of students across a spectrum of skills and expertise.

“Our universities play a vital role in contributing to Yorkshire’s success but more needs to be done to develop a strong regional economy. To achieve our vision we need collaboration between universities, businesses, policy makers, and local and national government.”

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation will give the keynote address at the meeting where delegates will also hear presentations from Professor Liz Towns-Andrews, Director of Research and Enterprise, University of Huddersfield; Colin Sirett, CEO, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), University of Sheffield; Dr Dave Richards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, University of Hull; and Brent Cheshire, Country Chairman of DONG Energy in the UK and Managing Director of DONG Energy Wind Power.

Emily Wolton added that delegates to the meeting will get a good understanding of how Yorkshire’s universities are supporting innovation and growth and will have the opportunity to explore strategies to enhance the impact of current activity. Emily said: “We will take the opportunity to highlight the role of higher education (HE) in Yorkshire for driving growth and innovation in the region and beyond.

“The speakers will highlight the important role of HE in developing highly skilled people and working with businesses to help them access the right knowledge and skills, discuss future funding models for regional growth, and examine the priorities and partnerships that are needed for the region’s future development.”

The meeting will take place on Wednesday 1st March.

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