Vicky Hayhurst16/09/2016

Have you ever met anyone who, when asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” answered, “Ha, that’s easy! A higher education marketing professional, you fool!”? No, neither have I.

Yet, UK HE is a truly excellent sector to be part of and to promote. It contributes an astonishing amount to local communities, economies and society at large. Thanks to Universities UK, here are just ten examples of what our universities bring to the world:

  1. world-leading educational quality
  2. enhanced graduate employment prospects
  3. more than £73bn annually in output for the UK economy
  4. generation of more than 750,000 jobs (and for every 100 jobs at a university, 117 are created in the wider economy)
  5. aspiration-raising activity in schools
  6. life-saving and world-changing research with an immeasurable impact
  7. knowledge economy worth £4.2bn
  8. graduate start ups generating nearly 21,000 jobs annually and a turnover of £174m
  9. cultural centres for local communities
  10. educating the nurses, doctors and teachers (and HE marketing professionals!) of the future.

It’s phenomenal, really.

But the most impressive thing is that for centuries and through wars, changes in government, policy and population, unprecedented fee-change regimes, and increases in student expectation, UK universities are still here. Plus, they are delivering education to more people than ever before and they are still changing lives for the better.

They might be large, bureaucratic and clunky organisations (just ask for a copy of Revolution Viewing’s Little Book of HE Marketing for more university quirks) but…no one could criticise their resilience and impact!

So whilst I do worry about the impact of Brexit for universities, I am optimistic that the sector has the excellence and experience to cope.

If any sector can continue to innovate and to flourish, I think UK Higher Education can. Team HE all the way!