main University navigation
local section navigation
Languages for all
Aston Research Explorer
Research in use
Hire a placement student
Aston Centre for Growth
Enterprise Research Centre
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
Partners & development
Aston in your country
English language programmes
Is Birmingham the right place for me?
Student life & satisfaction
Alumni in your country
Benefits & Services
Make a Gift
Stay in contact
Map & directions
Types of accommodation
Apply for accommodation
Get advice & contact us
My Aston Portal
Pay Outstanding Invoices
Make Payment Before Arrival
News & events
“Universities vital to building Britain’s future”: Lord Mandelson visits Aston University
The higher and further education sectors are playing a key role in getting Britain through the recession to emerge stronger and more competitive than before, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has outlined, this week.
During a visit to Aston University in Birmingham, his first to a university campus since taking charge of Higher Education policy, Lord Mandelson told representatives from across both sectors that the creation of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) underlined the huge contribution they make to both the UK economy and wider society.
“The very things that will help us get through this downturn quicker, like: ensuring an environment that encourages enterprise; equipping people with the right skills and opportunities to thrive; and driving growth and progress through world-class education and research - will be even more important to our prosperity in the years ahead.
“Britain has fundamental strengths in these areas already. We can see that from the skills and innovation here at Aston University and FE campuses across our country.
“But the competition’s getting tougher. And it’s going to take work to maintain and develop the UK’s lead in the hi-tech, hi-value industries of the future.
“That mission goes to the very heart of what our new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has been created to achieve.
“Our purpose is to build up the knowledge and creativity that will drive Britain’s competitiveness directly, but also indirectly by reinforcing our cultural awareness, understanding and confidence.
“Character and competitiveness are not mutually exclusive. Together they shape our ambitions and define our ability to realise them effectively. “And excellent Higher and Further Education support them both, enabling people, whatever their background or circumstances, to make the most of their talents and their lives.”
While at Aston, Lord Mandelson toured some of the university’s facilities showcasing the sort of work universities and colleges are doing to build Britain’s resources of skill, knowledge and creativity through research, partnerships with business and internships.
He met with local businesses and higher and further education representatives to hear about the real help Aston University is offering industry through initiatives such as the INDEX project. This is an innovation voucher scheme led by Aston, which helps small and medium size enterprises access academic support from any of the Higher Education Institutions from across the region.
Lord Mandelson said:
“Higher education is more important to the future of our country than ever before which is why we continue to invest in our universities at record levels, £7.5bn this year alone.
“The sector already helps drive our economic success, contributing £45billion to our economy in 2003/04, supporting almost 600,000 jobs and bringing £3.6billion in exports.
“Alongside this they have clearly shown that they can provide a lifeline in these challenging times by offering support to local business, through Innovation Voucher initiatives, such as INDEX, as well as offering targeted short courses to adults who have lost their jobs and connecting small businesses to graduates and university expertise.”
News & events
Aston breast cancer research project
New Health and Medicine Division for IMechE
Aston at forefront of low carbon vehicle testing
Aston University Links into Languages
OBE for Aston University Modern Languages Professor
Lord Mandelson visits Aston University
Aston student wins Queen’s Silver Jubilee Engineering Award
Aston among top 20 universities in Green League
Aston Business School
Aston Medical School
Engineering & Applied Science
Languages & Social Sciences
Life & Health Sciences
Aston Graduate School
MAP - My Aston Portal
Working at Aston
Aston Staff Portal
Easysite Author Login
+44 (0)121 204 3000
Birmingham, B4 7ET
Modern slavery act