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Universities Minister visits Teesside University Darlington

09 July 2012 @TeessideUni

 

Universities must focus on high quality teaching leading to employment – something Teesside University has 'absolutely gripped' says Universities & Science Minister David Willetts.

The Minister spoke at a meeting with academic and business leaders at Teesside University’s new Darlington campus where he officially opened the Executive Education Floor of the landmark undergraduate and postgraduate teaching facility on the site, which is already engaging the UK business community. The event was jointly hosted by Teesside University and the North East Economic Forum.

Mr Willetts said: 'Universities must focus on high quality teaching leading to employment. You have absolutely gripped that here at Teesside.' Speaking to Professor Graham Henderson CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of Teesside University he added: 'The Government is a great admirer of what you have achieved at Teesside.

'Teesside’s strong links with a network of local colleges, including here at Darlington, is an example of how further education and higher education can come together with a really high quality offer.'

He went on to point out how universities can play a major role with business, offering support and expertise that they may not otherwise be able to access.

Professor Graham Henderson CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of Teesside University said: 'I was delighted to welcome the Minister to our Darlington campus particularly at a time when we have just received the excellent news of a £1m grant from HEFCE. Our successful application is very much linked to the success of the University’s strategy, working over the past three years, to deliver or accredit University provision to over 8,000 employees through workforce development programmes tailored directly to the needs of individual employers and to improve business performance. To do this, we have developed a highly responsive business infrastructure which positions us well for the future.

'Teesside University is a leading light in its partnerships with business. Supporting the regional economy is at the heart of everything we do.'

Hugh Morgan-Williams OBE, Chairman of The North East Economic Forum (NEEF) added: 'The opening of the new facility at Teesside’s Darlington Campus marks yet another milestone in the development of the University, which is rapidly becoming one of the most attractive places in the UK to study – and an ideal partner for businesses.'

The Minister also visited The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) for an insight into its work developing science into UK business opportunities, and the potential of its world-leading facilities and expertise.

Notes

Teesside University It has been confirmed this week that Teesside has been awarded £1m from the ‘Transition Fund’ of the Government’s Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) – one of the largest awards made to any University in the UK. The HEFCE transition fund is available only to higher education institutions which have made ‘workforce development’ and wider business engagement central to their strategy, and will allow universities like Teesside to grow this operation even further, responding to the needs of business and industry within their own regional economies.

Teesside’s business pedigree has also seen the recent achievement of the national standard in customer service – the first University in the North East to reach this goal and the only University in the UK to be invited to be a Preferred Business Partner of Customer First UK. The University’s participation in the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Scheme also has an excellent track record with 71% of the University’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) awarded grade A – compared to just 8% nationally. These partnerships see a new graduate placed within a business to facilitate the knowledge transfer – jointly supervised by the University and the business.

About CPI CPI is a vital part of the Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, is home to National Centres in Industrial Biotechnology and Printable Electronics and has recently opened its Thermal Technologies Centre: a £5m collaboration with Tata Steel that will pioneer new ways of turning materials such as biomass into high grade fuels and energy.

CPI’s capability is geared to facilitate the provision of technology advancement for a number of key global markets. Developing sciences to match market needs, CPI is able to work in areas to reduce costs, increase efficiency, reduce size and weight, produce energy, integrate design and functionality, and deliver intelligent systems in the application of the latest technologies.


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