The University of Bedfordshire is shining a light on some of the research projects and local business support it has provided during the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of Universities UK’s (UUK) latest campaign – #GettingResults.
This initiative aims to put universities at the heart of the economic and social recovery from the pandemic, by raising awareness of the work and research that higher education (HE) institutions facilitate and conduct.
According to a study commissioned by UUK, universities across the East of England, including the University of Bedfordshire, will:
- Provide over 8,600 years’ worth of upskilling and training to businesses and charities
- Help 1,678 new businesses and charities to be formed
- Train 14,000 nurses, 3,000 medics and 6,000 teachers
The contributions made by universities and their students through knowledge and skills exchange, partnerships and support for local employers have huge potential to help businesses, industries, and other partners to continue, recover and thrive following the pandemic.
Dr Nicholas Lancaster, director of the Innovation & Enterprise Service, part of the University’s Research & Knowledge Exchange, said:
“The University of Bedfordshire has contributed over £440m in regional growth in the past three years, and we are a central part of making the OxCam Arc one of the leading economic regions for entrepreneurs, start-ups and high growth companies.
“Alongside the Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) and Chambers of Commerce, the University addresses key issues in the public, private and third sectors – boosting job creation, productivity and Research and Development.”
Five examples of how the University of Bedfordshire is #GettingResults for the local community and region:
1. Emergency funding and mentoring for community artists and practitioners
Since the first UK lockdown, the University of Bedfordshire’s Arts & Culture Projects team have been working with local authorities and charities to offer emergency support to community practitioners who have found themselves financially and operationally affected by COVID-19.
2. Apprenticeship programme provides trained Social Workers for council
Recently, the University successfully supported the needs of Central Bedfordshire Council, where nine council employees completed the Social Worker degree apprenticeship.
3. Time2Grow shines a light on Mohammed’s electronic engineering skillset
Bedfordshire-based lighting company, Levello, registered to receive free business support from the University’s Innovation & Enterprise Service. Through this service, they were matched with a graduate intern via the EU-funded Time2Grow programme.
4. University support aids growth of award-winning MyNewTerm start-up
Wayne Cartmel, a University of Bedfordshire alumnus requested assistance from the University’s Innovation Bridges SME programme in developing his new business platform, MyNewTerm, which automates the recruitment process and connects schools with candidates directly. Designed to be simple to use, the service aims to cut school recruitment costs by up to 90%, compared to more traditional recruitment approaches.
5. University academic helps trial pioneering PPE technique for bearded healthcare staff
Professor Gurch Randhawa, Director of the University of Bedfordshire’s Institute for Health Research, led a team of experts – including transplant surgeon, Dr Rajinder Pal Singh – to promote an innovative beard covering technique called ‘Singh Thattha’, initially devised by Dr Singh, which enables bearded individuals to safely wear a respirator mask without the need for shaving.
In 2018/2019 the University of Bedfordshire recorded 144 graduate start-ups, turning over £12.5 million and employing over 590 people, this it said, is the 7th highest of 162 HE institutions across the UK.
Over the next five years, a study by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) for UUK has predicted that universities in the United Kingdom will:
- Attract £21.7 billion of funding for research projects with partners
- Provide support to businesses and charities worth over £11.6 billion
- Be involved in regeneration projects worth £2.5 billion to local economies
- Help 21,650 new businesses and charities to be formed
- Train 191,000 nurses, 84,000 medics and 188,000 teachers
Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Universities UK’s president, said:
“By working closely with their partners, including local government and employers, universities will play a vital role in the UK’s post- recovery. Together, they can contribute significantly to future economic success and improve lives.
“Moving forward it is important that employers fully take advantage of universities’ support and develop productive relationships so the region can bounce back stronger from the pandemic.”
Follow news of UUK’s campaign via Twitter, or search for #GettingResults online.
For further details of the University of Bedfordshire’s social and economic contribution to the region can be found in the Social and Economic Impact Report 2020.
To find out how the University can help support your business, visit We Mean Business.