THREE WEST Midlands universities are joining forces to put higher education at the centre of the drive for economic growth.
Coventry University, Birmingham City University and the University of Wolverhampton last week launched the West Midlands Combined Universities initiative.
The partnership aims to bring together the institutions’ applied research and training expertise to develop skills and foster innovation across the region.
The link-up is expected to provide the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) with a powerful resource to meet ambitious objectives around skills, employment opportunities and productivity – including the creation of 500,000 jobs by 2030.
Professor Cliff Allan, vice-chancellor of Birmingham City University, said: “The launch of West Midlands Combined Universities is about making sure higher education across our region can meet the ambitious demands of the devolution agenda.
“When the West Midlands Combined Authority comes into being next month, it will offer a great opportunity for our region – but its success will in part be driven by closing the skills gap with the rest of the country.
“This partnership of three like-minded universities will form a major part of making that happen.”
Professor John Latham, vice-chancellor of Coventry University, said: “By launching this ambitious initiative we’re creating a partnership which spans the combined authority area.
“Health, advanced manufacturing and associated supply chains are just a few of the sectors which will benefit from our institutions’ collective drive to educate more local young people.”