London Universities generate more than £1 billion from the European Union

Labour Party

Today I helped launch a study by London Higher which shows that London’s higher education institutions generate more than £1 billion each year as a result of engaging with the European higher education agenda.

It was a breakfast meeting at Senate House the iconic headquarters of the University of London in Malet Street

The detailed research was carried out by Professor Brian Ramsden (the tallest man pictured on the right). The report had been partly funded by the Greater London Authority and Ian Catlow (pictured on left), Head of the Mayor of London’s European office also spoke.

London Higher is the membership association representing London’s universities and higher education colleges. The £1 billion, which is higher than expected, is derived from the large number of EU students and staff drawn to London universities, London HEIs successfully competing for research funding, and the knock-on effect of these activities on the London and UK economy.  The report is called Goods to Declare: The economic impact of London’s universities and colleges engaging with, and it looks at the economic benefits London and its HEIs derive from different EU sources.  London’s HEIs have an outstanding reputation in Europe. They already enrol more than twice as many EU students as other UK regions and applications continue to grow. Research funding has increased by more than 40% in the last four years.  European HE funds are relatively stable compared to those in the UK. The report points out that HEIs can do even more to access funds in the European Union. 

Ian Catlow, Head of London’s European Office, a Brussels-based arm of the Mayor of London’s office, has said:

“Although London HEIs perform well in Europe, they could make better use of existing intermediaries to help navigate the EU grant system. Institutions should consider both enhancing the collective representation of London HEIs in Brussels and establishing London alumni groups in key European countries to act as ambassadors for the exceptional institutions operating in this city.”

I was delighted to meet with a number of London’s leading academics. I’m pictured talking with Professor Brian  Gaskell Principal of Queen Mary’s College and Dr. Michael Reynier, Deputy Chief Executive of London Higher.

You can read the full text of the report on the London Higher website here.

London Higher Education’s Europe Group

Labour Party

Last week I met with London Higher the body which represents over 40 Higher Education institutions.

I was fortunate to have an extended discussion with Professor Jane Broadbent Deputy Vice Chancellor at Roehampton University who like me was on the feminist frontline in the 1970s and 1980s and chairs the London Europe Group.  Arrangements were kindly made by Doctor Michael Reynier from London Higher Education who had a deep and impressive knowledge of European funding in London.  He also facilitated my meeting with Alex Conway Head of the European Programme Unit at the London Development Agency and Callista Punch, Head of UK Higher Education’s Europe Unit.

I am always pleased to have the opportunity to report on my work in Europe and also to be armed with more information to advocate on London’s behalf.  I have written previously, about the world class standards to be found at London’s universities.  It was interesting and significant from a Euroean perspective that the importance of promoting language learning was a major theme of the meeting.

The London Europe Group meets regularly to coordinate their work and share best practice.  It was an insight for me to understand how higher education institutions have to navigate thir way between the Government Office for London (GOL), the Mayor of London and the European institutions.  For my part I was pleased to be able to reflect the high esteem London’s acadmic institutions are held in by other MEPs.  Sometimes I think we take for granted the standards of excellence there are in British education.  I also welcomed the detail provided at the meeting as to how government funding of research affects private sector decisions on where to direct their research. We further discussed the Bologna process, skills and employability.

I was pleased to have attended this group for the first time and will be staying in touch and attending future meetings. Whatever the economic future we face, I believe that by continuing to invest in higher education we can secure a prosperous future for all.

My thanks to the group for their warm welcome and hospitality.