Higher education institutions and local government: Collaborating for growth

This paper provides evidence of what can be achieved if the UK recognises the wider role and influence that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can have within cities and surrounding areas. It highlights the recent work that has taken place between the Local Government Association (LGA) and Universities UK to promote the role universities and other HEIs can play in supporting local economic growth. The advent of Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs), City Deals and Community budgets have all meant that councils and partners are already working closely together on growth. In light of announcements by Government, agreeing to introduce Local Growth Deals and a single local growth fund, it will be necessary for all partners to be involved in developing local strategies and action plans for growth. It calls for harnessing the strengths of all partners and not restricting their involvement based on preconceived ideas. HEIs are usually involved in these discussions because of their role in education or research, but they have a very important role to play in making places attractive to investors, businesses and talent, among other roles. This paper is a demonstration of the new relationship between local government and universities and it is hoped that this positive partnership can be replicated at a local level. It is also hoped that this paper offers information on the importance of collaboration between HEIs and councils in order to drive growth and innovation.

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