Huge Impact of Smaller and Specialist Universities Highlighted in New Report

By Gemma Cross


This new report from GuildHE demonstrates they are well-positioned to stimulate the growth of key priority economies such as the creative industries, health and agriculture in a landscape which includes the Government’s levelling up agenda and the plan to increase investment in research and development to 2.4 per cent of the GDP by 2027.

‘Building the Jigsaw’ contains an in-depth study of the key role of smaller and specialist universities in their local, national and international economies. The report uses a combined experimental heat mapping and case studies approach to highlight the local, national and international economic impact of smaller and specialist UK higher education institutions. It brings new evidence to the sector by capturing knowledge exchange activities not always apparent in traditional statistics and often in unexpected locations throughout the UK.

Anthony McClaran, GuildHE Chair and Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University Twickenham, said: “Many small and specialist universities are innovative, agile industry experts that carry out high impact, practical research and knowledge exchange. This important report brings new evidence to the sector and a new approach to capturing the local, national and international economic impact of their work.”

Eleven UK higher education institutions, including Leeds Conservatoire, contributed to the report.

Professor Joe Wilson, Principal at Leeds Conservatoire, added: “As a specialist institution, known for its creativity and innovation, Leeds Conservatoire seized the opportunity to contribute to the ‘Building the Jigsaw’ report and be part of the case study on productive collaborations in the Leeds City Region.”

The activity of higher education providers is often distributed widely across a region. In Leeds City Region, the largest economy outside of London, this means projects and relationships that reach up to and beyond the borders of the ten districts. The work of three small and specialist institutions, Leeds Conservatoire, Leeds Arts University and Leeds Trinity University, all members of Yorkshire Universities, helps to illustrate this reach.

The case studies in the report, five in total, reveal a surprising number of initiatives and collaborations being undertaken by smaller and specialist institutions that are driving impact, prosperity, and actively addressing local, regional, national and even international, economic, social and cultural challenges.

Read the ‘Building the Jigsaw’ report

Find out more about GuildHE

By Gemma Cross

Final rehearsals are well underway for tonight's special concert that sees Leeds Conservatoire Orchestra perform si…
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