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Widening Participation, Regeneration and Knowledge Intensification: Contextualising Local Responses in the Global and Regional Arena Steve Wyn Williams.

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Presentation on theme: "Widening Participation, Regeneration and Knowledge Intensification: Contextualising Local Responses in the Global and Regional Arena Steve Wyn Williams."— Presentation transcript:

1 Widening Participation, Regeneration and Knowledge Intensification: Contextualising Local Responses in the Global and Regional Arena Steve Wyn Williams & Peter Jones Staffordshire University

2 What is the Purpose of the University ?

3 Increased competitiveness of regions/localities within the global economy increasingly dependent on the emergence of high value knowledge based economies. Knowledge intensification and the development of a creative and highly skilled workforce will be key drivers in a region or a locality’s ability to compete successfully in the global market place. …and increasingly tied up with the skills, attributes and attitudes of populations and concomitant opportunities to access and engage in education, training and development.

4 So what is the role of Universities? Increasingly, universities are expected to play a far more proactive and specific role in contributing to social and economic (and skills) development within their regional context. BUT meaningful interactions between HEIs and their regions/localities involve much more than stimulating economic development and helping businesses thrive. What we need is a framework for envisioning the role of the modern University in its multi-faceted interactions with the non- university world (state, economy and civil society).

5 So what is the role of Universities? So what might this be (1)? For example, The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) propose that community engagement should be adopted as a core value for the 21st century university: “Strenuous, thoughtful, argumentative interaction with the non-university world in at least four spheres: first, setting universities’ aims, purposes and priorities; secondly, relating teaching and learning to the wider world; thirdly, the back and forth dialogue between researchers and practitioners; and fourthly, taking on fuller responsibilities as neighbours and citizens.” (ACU, 2001)

6 So what is the role of Universities? So what might this be (2)? The OECD/IMHE project suggests that the contribution should focus on skills, the community and civil society : Knowledge transfer via workplace learning, graduate recruitment, professional development / continuing education Students establishing the social relations on which knowledge exchange is built Student community action Cultural activity and campus development contributing to vibrant places that attract and retain creative people The university’s role in local civil society, joining up separate strands of national policy (learning and skills, research and innovation, culture and social inclusion)

7 Recent policy research on University – City/region relationships In the context of the current recession/economic downturn recent policy research on University – City/region relationships has become more focused and pragmatic

8 NESTA: Five ways Universities Drive Innovation (2007) Notes that Universities traditionally have had 3 missions: Driving forward the research frontier Giving people the skills for innovation Exchanging Knowledge BUT the UKs need to innovate to meet social and economic challenges of the 21st century places further pressure on and adding to these roles: Acting as a hub in an international network of knowledge Providing regional leadership NESTA argues that HEIs should build on strengths and focus on the needs of regions. However few institutions can excel in all five areas noted above and will need choose where concentrate it efforts

9 Work Foundation: Embedding Universities in Knowledge Cities (2008) Universities are vital in a more knowledge intensive economy both as creators and consumers of knowledge. City-university relationship pivotal to helping places across the UK adapt to changes in the wider economy, increase the proportion of knowledge intensive jobs and workers, and deliver beneficial outcomes for communities. BUT creates new challenges and opportunities for both parties. Raises growing questions about how universities and cities can best work together…most higher education institutions and local authorities remain less clear about how best to work together to mutual benefit. Suggest using the Work Foundation’s Ideopolis framework for setting priorities for cities and educational institutions in the changing economy (see Fig 1)


11 NESTA: The Connected University Recovery and Growth in the UK Economy (2009) Looking at how HEIs can benefit their local communities, in particular focussing on their importance because of their stability. Universities: are important sources of local employment and purchases from local suppliers produce skilled workforces and transfer knowledge through their graduates are leading sources of Knowledge are also powerful network-builders

12 OECD/IMHE Project 2005-2007 OECD/IMHE project 2005-07 : Supporting the contribution of HEIs to Regional Development Looks at a range of factors but particularly the local – global linkages as can be seen in the following diagram a Regionally engaged multi- modal, multi-scalar HEI!!!


14 North Staffordshire/Stoke on Trent: the Challenge 16th (out of 354) most deprived English district, and 3rd out of 34 in the West Midlands 7th (out of 354) most deprived in terms of Education, Skills and Training, and 5th in terms of Adult Skills sub-domain 70% in employment (75% nationally) Huge fall in manufacturing employment 2001-2006 (c10000) and low levels of inward investment % 5 A*-C (including Maths and English) 2008 = 36.8%; English Average = 47.3%; 18% progression to HE

15 North Staffordshire/Stoke on Trent: the Challenge % Working age with level 4+ qualification = 17%; English average = 31%. 2011 target for West Midlands 34% (currently 24%) 23% have no qualification 26.7% in SOC 1-3 compared with 39.3% in W.Mids and 43.2% in GB 30.4% in SOC 8-9 compared with 24.6% in W.Mids and 28.6% in GB As a consequence of these and other factors North Staffordshire has been designated within the context of Advantage West Midlands (RDA) a regeneration zone and the NSRP to lead the regeneration agenda (established 2007)

16 University Quarter (UniQ) Vision “The University Quarter in Stoke-on-Trent will generate a thriving knowledge economy that is globally connected, leading to sustainable prosperity and an ambitious and dynamic community. It will create an integrated learning experience, focussed upon creativity, skills and employability, promoting participation and progression.”

17 The UniQ Educational Partners: Staffordshire University Stoke on Trent College City of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College

18 Outcomes go beyond physical regeneration Educational progression through integrated learning approach Raised skill levels to improve business performance Attract higher value jobs through increased entrepreneurship and inward investment High quality environment for people to live, work and study Most significant HE/FE collaborative project in the UK

19 UniQ: Key Features Total Investment - £200 million Key Funders for educational projects– Learning and Skills Council, Staffordshire University, Advantage West Midlands, HEFCE, Stoke on Trent FE College, Sixth Form College Key Projects - Science and Technology Centre, new Sixth Form College, Media Centre, Performance Centre, Sports Learning Centre, Knowledge Hub

20 UniQ Joint Educational Initiatives Development of a coherent approach to Raising Aspirations, Improving Participation, Attainment and Progression Development of a joint approach to Curriculum Planning and Learning Development Joint Community Engagement Strategy Improving Graduate retention and employability Employer Engagement, Research Activity and Knowledge Transfer/Consultancy

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