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Higher Education: Business

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 12 September 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps are being taken to encourage co-operation between universities and business. (151852)

The Department has a policy of encouraging higher education institutions (HEIs) to increase their interaction with business and with employers generally.

The Higher Education Innovation Fund, which provides funding to all HEIs in England is a key incentive. Funding for this programme has increased from £187 million for the two academic years 2004/05-2005/06 to £238 million for 2006/07-2007/08. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has allocated £60 million of its research funding in 2007/08 by reference to research grants and contracts from business.

HEFCE also fund a range of projects that are helping to identify, respond to, and increase employer demand for workforce development at HE-level, in line with its strategy for employer engagement and our plans for implementing the Leitch Review of Skills.