News archive 2008
Principal meets with PM25 Nov 2008, PR 248/08
Professor Rick Trainor, Principal of King’s College London and President of Universities UK met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown today as part of a delegation to discuss the important role universities have to play in boosting the UK economy.
UUK Press Release
Speaking after the meeting at Downing Street, Diana Warwick, Chief Executive, Universities UK, said: ‘We appreciate the significant investment the Government has made in higher education and we are urging them to protect this level of support.
‘In an economic downturn, investment in research, development and higher-level education by government and private enterprise is more important than ever. Higher education is ideally placed to deliver the workforce needed for a highly skilled knowledge-based economy. As the economy continues to shift towards knowledge based activities, it is likely that a larger percentage of the workforce will need higher-level skills.
‘Universities are producing highly skilled graduates and developing cutting-edge research - both are crucial to the global success of the UK economy. Universities are substantial generators of wealth and employment in themselves. We wanted to take the opportunity of this informal meeting to highlight the role universities can play in supporting the UK economy, through their engagement with business and industry.
‘Widening access to university is also a shared priority. All the UK’s universities are committed to offering the opportunity of higher education to those who can benefit from it, regardless of background.
‘The sector is already playing its part in this area with a large number of initiatives and partnerships with schools and colleges with the purpose of raising attainment levels and aspiration. Improving the provision of information and guidance for school pupils early on is key to this.
‘Looking further afield, we also wanted to flag up the importance of the Prime Minister’s Initiative, which has promoted UK higher education internationally. The UK higher education system has a strong international reputation but we are facing tougher competition than ever in the global trade in higher education.’
Notes to editors
Present at the meeting were:
Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP
Rt. Hon. John Denham MP (DIUS, Secretary of State)
Rt. Hon. David Lammy MP (DIUS, Minister of State)
Diana Warwick (Universities UK Chief Executive)
Professor Rick Trainor (Universities UK President, and Principal of King's College London)
Professor Madeleine Atkins (Coventry University)
Professor Julian Crampton (University of Brighton)
Professor Chris Higgins (Durham University)
Professor Sir Tim O’Shea (University of Edinburgh)
Professor Alison Richard (University of Cambridge)
Universities UK is the major representative body and membership organisation for the higher education sector. It represents the UK's universities and some higher education colleges. Its 133 members are the executive heads of these institutions. Universities UK works closely with policy makers and key education stakeholders to advance the interests of universities and to spread good practice throughout the higher education sector. Founded in 1918 and formerly known as the Committee for Vice-Chancellors and Principals (CVCP), Universities UK is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2008.www.UniversitiesUK.ac.uk
King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher 2008) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has 19,700 students from more than 150 countries, and 5,400 employees. King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. The College is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of approximately £450 million. An investment of £500 million has been made in the redevelopment of its estate.
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, social sciences, the health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres – a total unsurpassed by any other university.
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