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Trade talks

Universities need a specialised strategy to boost higher education exports, says MP.

Universities should push the Department for International Trade to develop a dedicated global sales pitch for higher education, according to Ben Howlett, Conservative MP for Bath.

Howlett, who sits on the Commons committee that is scrutinising the higher education and research bill, told HE that he had spoken to Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, and learned that he would be open to a meeting with university representatives. The sales pitch would examine how the different strands of British higher education, which is a £9 billion industry, could weave together to demonstrate to value to international investors. This would be followed by a consultation process with UK universities to determine the final details of the strategy, Howlett suggested. ”[Higher education] doesn’t necessarily have a loud voice when it comes to the government sales pitch,” he said. “We’ve got to develop a very strong narrative to deliver change.”

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