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Universities set to support UK’s recovery from the pandemic

A new campaign is highlighting how the 12 Universities in the University Alliance, which Oxford Brookes University is part of, will help with the national economic, social and cultural recovery from COVID-19.

The University Alliance represents professional and technical universities. Its 12 universities train nearly a quarter of the nation’s nurses and support almost 24,000 businesses with consultancy, facilities and research.

The campaign, Powering the UK’s Future, highlights how Alliance universities will use their critical role within the NHS and public services, support for businesses, locally-rooted research and innovation, and partnership with industry to find solutions to the economic and social challenges we all face.

Calling for higher education to be positioned and funded as a major asset for the nation’s recovery, University Alliance have released a set of high-level policy asks which could enhance universities’ contribution to the national economic, social and cultural recovery.

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and Deputy Chair of University Alliance, said: “The new campaign is just a snapshot of the work we do every day. We’re proud to be a modern and innovative university in the heart of a traditional seat of learning in Oxford.

“With our community connections, business support, local partnerships and industry-ready graduates, we continue to make a difference.”

Already, Oxford Brookes is training nurses and healthcare professionals, developing a new vaccine for Covid-19 through its spin-out company, working with businesses to help them thrive after the pandemic, and producing the graduates that are needed by UK industry. Its Institute for Ethical AI is highlighted in the campaign publication as an example of how the University is helping businesses boost the economy through world-class research and expertise.

University Alliance Chair and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, Professor Debra Humphris said: “Alliance universities are deeply rooted in their surrounding regions, with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years and a mission to support local people and communities that continues today. Alliance universities are helping to build the economy and workforce of the future with their leading research and close links with business, and are powering the public services we all rely on.”

University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson said: “I am proud that through launching this campaign we are demonstrating our potential and readiness as a collective group of universities to power a national renewal and recovery which we all strive for as we look to rebuild from Covid-19 and beyond.”

The campaign has been backed by major employers and industry partners, including Tata steel and the International Chamber of Commerce, along with support from numerous SMEs and local organisations who work with Alliance universities to deliver change for their communities.

Follow the campaign on University Alliance’s website, and on Twitter using #UApoweringUK

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Sarah Irving

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