The University of Cumbria’s proposed new campus in Barrow features in a new national report that highlights the vital role modern universities have to play in the levelling up agenda.
The MillionPlus universities group has presented its report – Staying local to go far: Modern universities as placemakers - to Parliament this week.
The report demonstrates that, through collective expenditure alone, modern universities like the University of Cumbria add an economic benefit of £17bn across the UK. They also support over 210,000 jobs, and develop and deliver 128,000 apprenticeships.
It further underlines the role they have as local anchor institutions, and as a critical component in the local skills and jobs ecosystem, with over 68 per cent of working graduates at MillionPlus universities living, studying and then finding work in the same region after graduating.
The report draws upon case studies from across members of Million Plus, the Association of Modern Universities.
The report makes a number of recommendations to the UK government including utilising the knowledge, infrastructure and expertise of modern universities to address cold spots in higher education; and broadening the definition of ‘value’ of higher education, to account for the social impact of universities, including their cultural aspect in relation to place.
Forming part of the Barrow Learning Quarter, the University of Cumbria’s new campus plans were published recently when a planning application was lodged with Barrow Borough Council. As such, the plans are currently out for a period of consultation where views can be expressed.
A partnership between the University of Cumbria, Furness College, the Borough Council, BAE Systems, and local businesses, Barrow Learning Quarter offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the education landscape in Barrow.
As part of its Town Deal programme, the Government has confirmed that £25 million has been awarded to Barrow-in-Furness to allow the area to progress seven projects that focus on investment covering three areas – regeneration, skills and enterprise, and infrastructure and connectivity.
Staying local to go far: Modern universities as placemakers, the MillionPlus report, is available here.