Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
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Next steps to new university challenge

Next steps to new university challenge

DEPARTMENT FOR INNOVATION, UNIVERSITIES AND SKILLS News Release (27/2009) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 9 March 2009

Universities Minister David Lammy welcomed the next step of the new "university challenge" with the publication of guidance on submitting proposals for new local university centres by the Higher Education Funding for England (HEFCE) today.

There has been strong interest in the challenge from local partnerships across the country, with 27 initial expressions of interest so far. The HEFCE document sets out what those developing proposals need to do next.

The detailed guidance has been issued by the Funding Council following extensive consultation and will help towards meeting an ambition for up to twenty new local university centres to be approved over the next six years.

David Lammy said:

"I am hugely encouraged by the high level of interest we have already seen in our new "University Challenge". New local university centres can transform communities by creating local opportunities for people to study, engaging with the skills and innovation needs of local businesses, and providing civic amenities. The fact that so many areas have put forward expressions of interest shows that local communities value the benefits a university centre can bring."

Ministers believe that a local high quality higher education centre can open up the chance of higher education to more young people and adults who previously may never have thought about a degree while helping drive local economic and social regeneration. Economists estimate that every extra job a university creates is matched by another elsewhere in the economy.

Notes to editors

1. Expressions of interest in establishing new HE centres have been received to date from the following places:

1. Accrington
2. Basildon
3. Basingstoke
4. Corby/Kettering
5. Crawley
6. Croydon
7. Doncaster
8. Dudley
9. Ebsfleet
10. Halifax
11. Havering
12. Herefordshire
13. Kings Lynn
14. Milton Keynes
15. Rochdale
16. Rotherham
17. Sandwell
18. Scarborough
19. Shropshire
20. Somerset
21. Stratford Island
22. Stockport
23. Swindon
24. Thurrock
25. Wakefield
26. Wallsend
27. Wirral

2. A copy of the guidance can be found at

3. On 7 March 2008 John Denham announced the 'New University Challenge'. The press notice can be viewed online at:

4. A copy of the 'New University Challenge' consultation document can be viewed online at:

5. For further information, please contact Emma Griffiths in the DIUS press office on 0203 300 8093

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