Anticipation. Disruption. Excellence.

Students, businesses, government and society are all demanding something new and different from the higher education sector. We need new ways to deliver fresh thinking and ideas to secure the UK’s future competitiveness. 

The evolution of Alliance universities shows just how innovative we can be and the extent to which we have played the role of disruptive challengers changing the sector as a whole for the better. With leading courses meeting the demands of living and working in a modern, global economy; 89% of Alliance university graduates employed six months after graduation; 31% of graduate start-ups that survive three years or more; over a fifth of the UK’s top research in engineering, allied health and design; over 20,000 business links including 13,000 with SMEs; and an estimated economic impact of £10bn – we are not only defining the shape of the higher education sector, but importantly, the UK’s global competitiveness.

Alliance universities are already leaders in our cities and regions, working with partners to develop and deliver strategies for growth. With a growing political clamour for devolution to cities and regions, our strengths and position are well-aligned to the priorities of the government and its future thinking.

Working collectively in identifying the needs of the future economy and helping the UK compete as a knowledge economy in the 21st Century, will be essential to our continued success. At the University Alliance Summit today we explored innovative and ambitious new ways in which we can achieve this and collectively further drive forward the UK’s competitiveness. 

One example is our Doctoral Training Alliance which heralds a new approach to postgraduate research opportunities and to Alliance universities working collaboratively together. With the first DTA in Applied Biosciences for Health starting in October 2015, the DTA is a clear example of the direction in which University Alliance is travelling, clearly breaking away from the confines of traditional ‘mission group’ definitions.

With ideas from today and the development of a new strategic framework for the next five years, spearheaded by Alliance CEO Maddalaine Ansell, we are well positioned to push the boundaries even further.

It was very clear from the Summit today that the University Alliance continues to be an innovative and enterprising force in this rapidly-changing higher education sector, delivering a new kind of excellence for students, for our communities, and the UK.

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