Beds ‘Gets Results’ for local economy and community

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The University of Bedfordshire is shining a light on some of the important research projects and local business support it has provided during the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of Universities UK’s (UUK) latest campaign – #GettingResults.

Through the launch of this initiative, UUK aims to put universities at the heart of the economic and social recovery from the pandemic, by raising awareness of the important work and impactful research that higher education (HE) institutions continue to facilitate and conduct.

According to a study commissioned by UUK, universities across the East of England, including the University of Bedfordshire, will:

  • Provide over 8,600 years’ worth of upskilling and training to businesses and charities
  • Help 1,678 new businesses and charities to be formed
  • Train 14,000 nurses, 3,000 medics and 6,000 teachers

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses – and a wide range of sectors not just within the East of England region but across the UK – have suffered greatly, leading to economic and social damage. The contributions made by universities and their students through knowledge and skills exchange, partnerships and support for local employers have huge potential to help businesses, industries, and other partners to continue, recover and thrive following the pandemic.

The University of Bedfordshire recognises the potential it has to make a real impact within its communities, having so far contributed significantly to the financial and social regional economic growth – both locally and nationally – at around £370m.

In addition to its role as a large employer and educator, Bedfordshire is committed to working in partnership with local businesses and organisations, boosting skills and productivity through knowledge exchange, skills provision, expertise in research and consultancy. The University also associates with many important community organisations, projects and initiatives and has helped to attract regeneration and development funding for the region, having grown this income by 25% in the past five years.

Dr Nicholas Lancaster, Director of the Innovation & Enterprise Service, part of the University’s Research & Knowledge Exchange, said: “The University of Bedfordshire has contributed over £440m in regional growth in the past three years, and we are a central part of making the OxCam Arc one of the leading economic regions for entrepreneurs, start-ups and high growth companies.

“Alongside the Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) and Chambers of Commerce, the University addresses key issues in the public, private and third sectors – boosting job creation, productivity and Research and Development.”

Here are five examples of how the University of Bedfordshire has been #GettingResults for the local community and region during the Covid-19 pandemic, by providing invaluable academic and business support…

  1. Emergency funding and mentoring for community artists and practitioners
  2. Apprenticeship programme provides trained Social Workers for council
  3. Time2Grow shines a light on Mohammed’s electronic engineering skillset
  4. University support aids growth of award-winning MyNewTerm start-up
  5. University academic helps trial pioneering PPE technique for bearded healthcare staff

The skills of University of Bedfordshire graduates will also have an important role to play in the future success of businesses and other sectors during the Covid-19 recovery process. In 2018/2019 Bedfordshire recorded 144 graduate start-ups, turning over £12.5 million and employing over 590 people – the 7th highest of 162 HE institutions across the UK.

Over the next five years, a study by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) for UUK has predicted that universities in the United Kingdom will:

  • Attract £21.7 billion of funding for research projects with partners
  • Provide support to businesses and charities worth over £11.6 billion
  • Be involved in regeneration projects worth £2.5 billion to local economies
  • Help 21,650 new businesses and charities to be formed
  • Train 191,000 nurses, 84,000 medics and 188,000 teachers

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Universities UK’s President, said: “By working closely with their partners, including local government and employers, universities will play a vital role in the UK’s post- recovery. Together, they can contribute significantly to future economic success and improve lives. Moving forward it is important that employers fully take advantage of universities’ support and develop productive relationships so the region can bounce back stronger from the pandemic.”

Follow news of UUK’s campaign via Twitter, or search for #GettingResults online.

For further details of the University of Bedfordshire’s social and economic contribution to the region can be found here, in the Social and Economic Impact Report 2020.

To find out how the University can help support your business, visit: www.beds.ac.uk/ies/we-mean-business