WHEF Policy Conference - UK universities’ contribution to local and regional development

Monday, 10th May, 8:30 - 13:00 

The conference will focus on key developments and the next steps for strengthening the relation between UK universities and their local communities.


It will takes place in the context of a range of policy initiatives with a direct bearing on HEIs being put in place to support economic and societal recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, as well as the government’s drive to reduce regional inequalities.


These include measures aimed at encouraging a greater contribution by universities to their local areas, backed by:

  • The Higher Education Restructuring Regime
  • The R&D Roadmap and the upcoming R&D Place Strategy
  • The Strength in Places Fund and The Industrial Strategy


Areas for discussion at this conference include:

  • How policy is being designed and implemented - its likely effectiveness and impact on universities
  • The potential scale and nature of the HE contribution - and the range of options and approaches being pursued in the sector
  • Practicalities of implementation - in areas such as setting strategy and further developing ties and knowledge exchange with local government and industry
  • Measuring the local impact of universities
  • Priority areas of focus - including HEI contribution in areas such as local healthcare and education systems, the creative industries and regional employment
  • The outlook for universities and regional innovation going forward


The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from BEIS; HMRC; the IPO; MHCLG; the NAO; the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (ROI); and the Welsh Government.

Register now