New report demonstrates roles of universities in supporting Scotland’s recovery

A new report has detailed the critical social and economic contribution universities are expected to make to Scotland’s recovery over the next five years. The report, Getting Results for Scotland, based on analysis by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) and published by Universities Scotland, highlights examples of how universities in Scotland are delivering for the nation across five key areas:

  1. Education and skills for people of all ages and stages of life;
  2. World-leading research that changes lives and fuels sustainable growth;
  3. Business-focused innovation and enterprise creation;
  4. Helping local areas recover; and
  5. Targeted support to address inequalities that the pandemic has exacerbated.

The report also highlights how universities will support the economic recovery. Based on data which tracks the recent contribution of universities, looking ahead over the next five years, universities in Scotland are projected to:

  • Provide £1.2 billion of not-for-profit support to business and charities;
  • Help establish 1,000 new businesses and social enterprises;
  • Provide close to 1.3 million days’ worth of training and upskilling (the equivalent of half a day for Scotland’s entire workforce); and
  • Contribute to over £400 million of local regeneration and development funding.

Welcoming the report, Universities Scotland Convener and Principal of the University of Stirling, Professor Sir Gerry McCormac said:

“Before the pandemic, Scotland’s universities made a broad and varied contribution to the nation’s success. Our world-leading research and innovation, our development of skilled graduates, our partnerships with businesses, and our work in our communities were just some of the ways in which higher education contributed to Scotland’s success. Our partnerships with businesses, charities, public services and others, create thousands of jobs, new businesses and prosperity.

 “Our reach and impact on people in Scotland is far beyond just educating students and employing staff as this report demonstrates through real life examples.

“The challenge ahead requires us to redouble our efforts. We believe in an education-led recovery. We are fully committed to doing everything within our power to meet the needs of individuals, society and the economy in a changed world. I fully support Getting Results because it connects universities’ demonstrable record of performance with our aspirations for the future.”

Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“Our universities have always had a significant contribution to the prosperity of Scotland and I welcome the Getting Results report as it highlights the key role they have to play in our economic and social recovery as we emerge from COVID-19. We recognise that universities will be instrumental in working with various enterprises, upskilling and reskilling, in providing world-leading teaching, research and knowledge exchange and fulfilling their civic roles as local anchor institutions.”