January 2016 Members’ Newsletter

Dear Christopher,

The first two weeks of 2016 saw us working hard to finalise our response to the Government’s Green Paper for higher education. We carried out extensive consultation with our members on the proposals put forward by the HE Minister Jo Johnson last November.

The proposed Teaching Excellence Framework was one of the key elements in the Green Paper and we are calling for Government to roll this out gradually to ensure it is implemented in the right way – with space to make changes where required based on evidence and feedback.  We also called on ministers to recognise the importance of research-informed teaching, ensure protection for quality-related research funding as a separate stream within the dual support system, and retain a business-focused innovation agency. More details – and our response in full – are online here.

Finally, it was fantastic to see the outstanding work of staff at Alliance Universities recognised in the New Year’s Honours List – many congratulations to all those who received awards. The hugely positive impact of our universities wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and ingenuity of their staff.

Best wishes,

Maddalaine Ansell
Chief Executive

HE Green Paper
Excellent teaching within universities should be recognised and rewarded – and made available to everyone with the ability and aspiration to benefit from it.  Our response to theGreen Paper puts forward practical suggestions for how the government’s ambitious reform agenda can be delivered.
Read our response in full here.Stern Review
The Stern Review of REF Call for Evidence is now live. We are keen to hear your thoughts to feed into our joint response.We know Lord Stern is particularly interested in lightening the burden of REF. Your ideas on how to achieve this would be especially welcome, as well as on which specific metrics or tools you find beneficial (and not).  Please contact Faye Taylor with your comments.

Save the date: UA Summit – 2 June

Each year, our summit brings together all our members alongside key stakeholders, commentators, leaders and opinion formers to focus on the key issues facing the higher education sector. This year’s event at Coventry University explores the role of universities asleaders in their cities and regions, delivering the world-class teaching, research and employer engagement which makes the difference right across the country.

During the day-long event, we will be hosting a series of speeches and panel discussions, and delivering workshops led by our universities and HE stakeholders.

The Annual Summit welcomes up to 250 University Alliance colleagues of all levels who are interested in our work. Please share these details with colleagues who may like to attend.

Register your place here. We look forward to seeing you at Coventry University in June.

Mind the Gap regional workshop

It was a full house at our first Mind the Gap regional workshop on employer engagement, which took place at the University of Lincoln this month. The highly successful event saw delegates hearing from a range of speakers and taking part in lively discussion.
We have a few places remaining at our two other workshops for February and March if you would like to attend. Book your place here.

Going Global 2016

Registration has now opened for Going Global 2016 which will take place on 3-5 May 2016 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa.

University Alliance is one of a small number of Reciprocal Partners giving our members a £100 discount on tickets to the event. To access this, when registering choose ‘Discounted pass’, and enter the code GGDiscounted when requested – early bird registration closes on 25 March.

Organised by the British Council, Going Global is an annual forum for education leaders to debate issues and challenges facing the sector globally and discuss collaborative solutions.

This year’s theme is ‘Building nations through connecting cultures’. A diverse range of conference sessions will consider the role of universities and the wider HE sector in the process of nation-building. This will address growing the skills base for academia and industry, engaging communities, establishing a vibrant national culture and working towards political stability.

Register for your place here.

The future of innovation funding – your views

BIS is holding a stakeholder engagement roundtable on the proposal to integrate Innovate UK into Research UK.  The proposal came out of the Nurse Review and is being considered by the Government in response to the Green Paper consultations.

We have joined forces with the Department to organise a roundtable to discuss these issues. The event is being hosted by the University of South Wales between 11am and 12.30pm on Monday 15 February 2016.

We are inviting staff and their business partners who have knowledge of working with Innovate UK and the Research Councils (across the broad range of innovation-related activities) from within our universities to attend.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Liz Field by Friday 5th February. Please note that numbers are limited and will be allocated on a first come,first serve basis.

Helping our opportunities ecosystem to flourish

As part of our work on the role of universities in providing leadership in Britain’s cities and regions, we are embarking on a major project exploring widening participation. We will address the question of how universities are encountering inequality and what they are doing to tackle it. We aim to explore how universities can best support those in their local community who may be less well off.

The success of universities’ activity relies on engagement with other (primarily local) organisations such as employers, schools, LEPs, Local Chambers of Commerce, cultural institutions and so on. We are collecting case studies to make this case and would like to hear from you if you have examples to include in the report.

Please email Daisy Hooper with your case studies – or to find out more.

Recent publications

Strategic Framework

Real world impact

We are continuing to showcase research with impact at Alliance universities on Twitter and online. These case studies show how we are finding new ways to overcome socio-economic challenges: growing industries, improving healthcare, building sustainability and shaping society.