Yorkshire Universities Newsletter 

2019/20 Issue One


#YHealth4Growth Conference

On 9 December, Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), the NHS Confederation and Yorkshire Universities (YU) co-hosted the YHealth for Growth Conference in Leeds.
Delegates from the NHS, local government, further and higher education, voluntary and community sectors and industry gathered in Leeds for a one-day conference to discuss the role of health in driving economic and inclusive growth in Yorkshire and the Humber. The #YHealth4growth conference set out the importance of aligning economic and health priorities in the region based on stronger collaboration between different sectors and geographies. Keynote speakers included Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University and Chair of Yorkshire Universities, who illustrated the value of the region’s research and innovation assets to improving health, opportunity and prosperity.
Reflecting the ideas that emerged at the conference, the AHSN, NHS Confederation and YU will, in early 2020, publish a new report, which will take the #YHealth4growth messages to the next level, underpinned by a framework for action. 
Read the #YHealth4Growth conference programme here

2018-19 Annual Report and Executive Summary 

In December, we published our 2018/19 Annual Report and Executive Summary. These provide an overview of our activities during the past year and also outline the priorities in our new 2019/22 Strategy:
Read the YU 2018-19 Annual Report and Accounts
Read the YU 2018-19 Executive Summary
In July:
Our final Board meeting at the end of the 2018/19 academic year was held in July, at the University of Hull, where the guest speaker was Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute. At the meeting, the Board agreed a new YU Strategy for 2019/22, and to produce a prospectus showcasing the distinctive strengths and collective offer of our twelve member institutions. 

This month, the 2019 Universities of the North conference also took place in Hull, where YU members participated in an exciting new collaboration to create a Northern Powerhouse alliance leading the country in science, research and clean growth. Read a think piece authored by the organiser of the conference, Director of Strategic Relationships and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Hull, Bill Walker, entitled 'The Ivy League of the North'.

The UUK Future of Degree Apprenticeships report was launched in mid-July. In a previous edition of the YU Newsletter details were given about the joint roundtable in Leeds that YU co-organised with UUK to inform the evidence base of this national review.

YU also took part in the national Civic University Commission Conference. The conference was proceeded by an expert workshop that YU supported, which was tasked with devising a framework to support the formulation of Civic University Agreements. Note that there is a ‘live’ Call for Proposals to host the new Civic University Network, receiving applications until 22 January 2020.
Since September:
Following a request by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP), in September, YU completed an extensive mapping exercise to identify the research strengths of universities in Leeds City Region against the national Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges. The mapping, together with an accompanying narrative piece, has informed the draft priorities of the LCR Local Industrial Strategy (LIS).

This process has also been influenced by an independent expert panel, which our Executive Director, Dr. Peter O'Brien, chaired. The LIS is expected to be submitted to government by March 2020. Currently, we are developing proposals for how to increase support for LCR’s analysis, policy development and evaluation capacity.

In parallel, YU has been contributing towards the development the three other local industrial strategy / strategic economic framework consultation exercises in the region: in the Humber; York, North Yorkshire and East Riding; and Sheffield City Region. This work has been supported by our Industrial Strategy Group.  

Also in September, Dr. Peter O'Brien spoke at the launch event of the Future Economies Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University. The centre will support analytical capacity in the Greater Manchester City Region. Peter presented a paper at the Regional Studies Association North America Conference in Montréal on the subject of regional innovation, which you can read more about here

Whilst this month saw the Chair of our Board, and Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, speak about place, research and innovation at the Convention of the North Summit in Rotherham
Highlights in October, November and December so far:
YU held a join roundtable with the Future Ready Skills Commission to inform the Commission’s review of devolved skills systems. The Commission published an interim report in November. YU has consulted members on its response to the interim report, and will continue to engage with the Commission's review in a run up to a final report being published in spring 2020.

In collaboration with the N8 Research Partnership, YU produced a detailed response to questions about the role of research and innovation in local and regional development, posed by the Executive Chair of Research England, David Sweeney, in a WonkHE blog. The joint response by N8 and YU represents an attempt to influence future place-based research and innovation policy, strategy and funding in the UK.

Our Executive Director, Dr. Peter O'Brien, attended the LCR Vice-Chancellors dinner with WYCA and the LCR LEP at the University of Huddersfield, the Regional Studies Association Winter Conference in London and the International Conference on Inclusive Growth at the University of Manchester.

In November, Executive Manager, Monika Antal, attended the Graduate Employability Conferencethe YNYER Circular Economy Strategy and Action Plan launch; and the People's Powerhouse Convention in Sunderland. This month also saw our two YU Associates, James Ransom and Professor Roger Lewis, participate in the Independent Commission on the College of the Future seminar; the Research and Innovation Conference 2019; the Cultural Transformations 'Issues and challenges for future Cities of Culture from the evaluation of Hull UK City of Culture 2017'; and the Future of Cities seminar during York Business Week 2019.

Finally, in early December, YU held its Board of Directors meeting and 2019 AGM at Sheffield Hallam University, where the guest speaker was Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. Ahead of the YHealth for Growth conference, YU Chair, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, had an op-ed published in the Yorkshire Post on how universities in the region are responding to future challenges
Health in all Local Industrial Strategies?
Guest blog by Michael Woods, Head of Economic Partnerships, NHS Confederation

The value of expertise
by Dr. Peter O’Brien, YU Executive Director

⇢ Getting regional value from knowledge exchange
by Professor Roger Lewis, YU Associate

Read more blogs from YU
We will be preparing a new 2019/22 Strategy publication, there will be a new report launched following the YHealth4Growth conference, and we plan to have the new prospectus showcasing the distinctive strengths of YU members ready by the end of spring 2020.

January 2020
20 January:  York, North Yorkshire & East Riding LEP Skills Landscape Event - York
20 January: YU Policy & Comms Network meeting - University of Huddersfield
22 January: IPPR North State of the North Conference - Newcastle
28 January: UUK International Graduate Employability Conference - London

February 2020
5 February: UUK Degree Apprenticeship 2020 Conference - London

March 2020
9 March: YU ISG meeting - University of Bradford
19 March YU Board meeting - Leeds Trinity University

April 2020
1 April: Productivity Insights Network conference 
24 April: The Oxford-Cambridge Arc: Critical Themes in Governance, Planning and Place-making Academic-Policy Workshop - Oxford Brookes University
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