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England to be the best place in the world for business-university collaboration

Plans to strengthen business and university engagement will include improvements to the regime for sandwich courses, promotion of a new framework…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Plans to strengthen business and university engagement will include improvements to the regime for sandwich courses, promotion of a new framework for business and universities to work together and ensuring a better fit between graduates and jobs.

In the Higher Education White Paper the Government asked Professor Sir Tim Wilson to carry out the review into how university-industry collaboration can be improved.

The Government’s plans include:

  • Supporting the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) to create a National Centre for Universities and Business. The centre will focus on strengthening the strategic partnership between universities and business with a view to driving economic growth and recovery.

  • Stimulating student demand for sandwich courses by instituting a 15 per cent cap on fees for a sandwich year. This more reasonably reflects the costs of a sandwich place year and will encourage universities to invest in and expand sandwich course provision.

  • Extending the Graduate Talent Pool service for a further three years. This is a high-quality online resource that brings together graduates and businesses, and advertises internship vacancies, which now includes a strict quality assurance process.

  • Working with graduate employers to promote fair recruitment and the use of new more detailed records of student achievement.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

“Higher education is about much more than economic success, but universities and graduates are vital to economic growth. We must ensure that graduates enter the labour market equipped to succeed, that employers know how to engage with universities and that we make good use of new research discoveries.

“Sir Tim’s excellent review found lots of good individual initiatives but we need to learn from what works and spread that across the country. The Government will play its part in helping those on campus work with those off campus.

“We are very grateful to Sir Tim for his hard work, and we accept his recommendations. We will now improve the regime for sandwich courses, promote a new framework for business and universities to work together and ensure a better fit between graduates and jobs.”

Professor Tim Wilson published his review in late February and made a series of recommendations for universities, business and Government.

Notes to editors

  1. A copy of the Government’s response can be found at [](

  2. A copy of Professor Tim Wilson’s ‘Review of Business-University Collaboration’ can be found at

  3. The Government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.’ It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20;

  • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business;

  • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy;

  • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.

  1. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See []( for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Phone




Name Sally Catmull Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 6577 Fax



Published 26 June 2012