The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) five-year Knowledge Exchange strategy 2016/17 has been recognised as one of the best in the country by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the main funding body for universities.
The commendation was made by a panel of experts from national funding and policy-making bodies, based on an assessment and overview.
All higher education institutions which receive Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) allocations are invited to submit knowledge exchange strategies as a basis for financial support. 97 strategies were submitted.
As part of the HEFCE commendations, higher education institutions receive acclaim for either their overall strategy, or a particular focus on a key area. UCLan was commended on having a strong overall strategy.
The University’s five-year strategy focuses on supporting businesses and employers in the local area, broadening civic engagement, supporting and engaging with communities, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurialism and expanding partnerships and collaboration in both the UK and overseas.
UCLan is one of the leading UK universities for the number of start-up businesses still active after three years, as highlighted in the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCIS).
In 2013/14, an independent economic report found the University contributed more than £200 million to the North West economy, with its graduates adding an average of £24 million per annum, cementing its status as an economic anchor in the region.
John Lonsdale, Director of Innovation and Enterprise at UCLan, said: “It’s very rewarding to have had our strategy recognised in this way. The University of Central Lancashire is a key part of the local, regional and wider economies. Our strategy lays out how we will continue to develop to be an innovative, entrepreneurial university, working in partnership with all our stakeholders.
“To make sure we achieve this we undertake and promote a number of key activities including collaborative research, student enterprise, consultancy, and regeneration and development programmes. Higher Education Innovation Funding is key to implementing this and is invaluable.”