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A New University Challenge in the South East

21 April 2008
University signing

The South East is meeting the government's University Challenge to open up towns and cities to new university provision. This is a key element of a new three-way Strategic Alliance – the first for any English region.

The Alliance, signed up to today (21st April), of SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency, Higher Education South East (HESE) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will enable the region’s 25 universities to work more closely with funding agencies to develop shared priorities for higher education development in the region. Universities are key to the globally competitive knowledge economy and the highly skilled workforce which are central to the Regional Economic Strategy for the South East.

"Our world class universities are of vital importance to the continued economic success of the South East of England. They provide employers in the region with the highly skilled graduates they need, raise the capacity to innovate of those already in the workforce, and help the region's businesses to increase the number of innovative products and services to create new and global markets. Higher Education also has a key role to play in social and economic inclusion. It is at the heart of collaborative networks driving knowledge transfer and innovation which is central to our businesses’ ability to be globally competitive."

Pam Alexander, SEEDA’s Chief Executive.

"Universities in the South East have already shown the way in the development of new university centres in Medway, Hastings, and Folkestone, and following the University Challenge set out by John Denham, the Secretary of State for Universities Innovation and Skills, plans are in progress for more to meet the needs of the region. This Strategic Alliance provides a structured framework for new investment which will be needed and will also contribute to increased innovation through stronger university engagement with business."

Professor Julian Crampton Chair of HESE and Vice- Chancellor, University of Brighton.

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