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A sense of place

Universities should play to their local strengths, says vice-chancellor.

Universities should have a greater say in formulating an industrial strategy that is underpinned by a local place agenda, according to John Latham, who is the vice-chancellor of Coventry University and who also chairs the University Alliance group.

Speaking to HE, Latham suggested that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy should examine how universities can support industrial strategy as many are “already aligned or willing to align” through their work on science and innovation audits. The government should also harness the growing numbers of local groupings between universities, exemplified in the Midlands by Coventry, Birmingham City and Wolverhampton, or in Manchester through the city’s four universities, he added. “You’re seeing neighbouring universities coming together to put forward initiatives on a collaborative basis which meet devo-deal requirements.”

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