Magazine article Times Higher Education

Peer Calls for German-Style Partnerships with Industry

Magazine article Times Higher Education

Peer Calls for German-Style Partnerships with Industry

Article excerpt

Links between universities and manufacturing could help make Britain 'great' again. John Morgan writes.

The UK must replicate Germany's "symbiotic relationship" between manufacturers and universities to secure economic growth, according to the founding chair of the Warwick Manufacturing Group.

Lord Bhattacharyya of Moseley urged universities to "understand you can't just say, 'We'll get more foreign students, we'll increase fees'...The custodians of the knowledge base should be a critical part of growth in the UK, not in other countries."

The Labour peer spoke to Times Higher Education after making a speech in the House of Lords that called for an industrial bank to support new manufacturing products from British small- and medium-sized companies, and for government to use its procurement to support those new products.

Lord Bhattacharyya said WMG's activity would create jobs "in the supplier base" in the coming years, in addition to the benefits from Jaguar Land Rover's decision to co-locate its Pounds 100-million-a-year research and development division at WMG.

"You can see it's an integrated strategy," he said. "Now we (the UK as a whole) used to have that to some extent, where ICI used to work with Imperial College London, but over a period of time - because of short- termism and more and more competition - we lost our way.

"We need to get it back and become a great manufacturing nation. We can't actually grow if manufacturing is just 11 per cent (of the UK economy). We can't grow any more with the City (of London). …

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