Press release

million+ economic impact of universities should be backed by a regional manifesto

03 Apr 2014

Commenting on Universities UK's latest study on the impact of the higher education sector on the UK economy, Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of the university think-tank million+ said:

“The UUK analysis confirms the findings of our report Smarter Regions Smarter Britain: Boosting regional growth through universities. This showed that universities create significant economic impact, particularly when students reside, study and then work in the same region. New and emerging markets and small businesses also benefit from the translational research offered by universities.”

“While overall the national economy is recovering, the same cannot be said for regions outside London and the South East.”

“Our manifesto for the regions sets out the steps that the government should take to support employers and boost the role of universities in driving regional growth and ensure that the benefits of the recovery are more evenly spread throughout the country.”

The million+ manifesto calls for the government to:

• use receipts from the sale of the student loan book to set regional targets to boost the number of people with high level qualifications and create 50,000 additional postgraduate places linked to part-time courses with a professional, industry or public service focus,

• set up a new stream of funding for translational research geared towards universities which receive lower levels of  public research investment,

• adopt the system common in the Nordic countries and ensure that all universities with research degree awarding powers receive funding for research infrastructure,

• establish a Small Business Agency with a clear regional focus, modelled on the Agency created by the Obama administration,

• introduce new innovation voucher and knowledge transfer schemes to allow universities to be more responsive to the needs of local employers,

• require the new Business Bank to adopt a regional remit, and

• review the role of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships created since 2010.


Notes to Editors
1. For further information and comment, contact Victoria Robinson, Press and Communications Officer, million+ on 020 7717 1658 / 07527 336 795 or email
2. The million+ manifesto for the regions can be found on the million+ website.
3. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at