Press release

MillionPlus publication shows that universities are vital local actors

06 Dec 2022

Part of its ongoing Placemakers campaign, a new publication issued today (6 December) uses case studies to highlight the effective ways that MillionPlus affiliated modern universities invest and work with local business, councils and Trusts, to drive forward change and, ultimately, improve the quality of life for students and local citizens.

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Chair of MillionPlus and Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, said:

“I know that the central role that modern universities play in developing and boosting the regions in which they are located is a source of profound pride to myself and others across the higher education sector.

“Modern universities are future-looking and can help to provide solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. Governments in both Westminster and Holyrood should reflect on the case studies presented in this document, which demonstrate the instrumental role universities have in boosting regional development, economically and socially. Universities are multi-faceted organisations and with their close links to local business, industry-informed courses and deep roots as anchor institutions, they are adept at finding solutions to local problems. Their size and breadth mean they have the capacity to play a role as placemakers.

“If the Government wants to achieve its laudable aims in levelling up all regions across the UK, they must acknowledge and provide a central role for universities in their plans.”


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  2. Staying local to go far: modern universities as placemakers – case studies is attached to this email and available online here. The research report released earlier this year is here.
  3. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at
  4. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.
  5. Modern universities: facts and stats 2022