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Universities Urged to Link Up with Business


British universities can do for the UK's creative economy what America's leading colleges have done for the US technology sector, according to the chief executive of Creative & Cultural Skills.

Speaking at the Guardian Higher Education Summit, Tom Bewick urged universities to strengthen their links with creative businesses and assist in the development of enterprise clusters with high levels of specialised entrepreneurial skills.

"My vision for Higher Education in 2020 - a time when Lord Leitch is saying we will need an additional 250,000 people with higher level skills - is that the rather false distinctions drawn between academic and more applied learning have been completely broken down,” Berwick said. “That's after all the experience of university clusters and companies in Silicon Valley. Surely the time has come for HE and industry in this country to invest heavily in creating a network of creative clusters, particularly where the sole trader and micro business can come to together and grow.

"Look at the role played by elite US universities in developing technology success stories such as Google and Sun Microsystems. Similarly, HE in this country can do much to foster the transition of creative enterprises from small businesses into major brands and significant employers of people. The alternative is to risk losing our position as a leading creative economy as skilled jobs drift away to the emerging economies of Asia and Eastern Europe."


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