COVENTRY University’s vice-chancellor has been been elected as the new chair of University Alliance (UA), the mission group representing Britain’s universities for cities and regions.
Professor John Latham takes up the role as chair of the alliance – of which Coventry University is a member – this month, replacing Professor Steve West of UWE Bristol.
As the government devolves powers and budgets away from Whitehall to regions, UA has published a series of reports focused on the regional leadership role of universities.
Following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, UA will focus on the ways in which modern civic universities can support the government’s industrial strategy.
A number of initiatives co-led by Coventry University, including the West Midlands Combined Universities, already reflect the vision of regional leadership and business engagement.
Professor Latham said: “The Brexit vote made it clear too many parts of Britain feel left behind.
“Theresa May is right to highlight this as one of the biggest challenges facing us as a society.
“As a group of institutions committed to making a difference in everything we do, University Alliance will focus on making this vision a reality.
“We will be working constructively to ensure the legislation receives proper scrutiny and that the new system puts students at the heart of the system and supports research excellence wherever it is found.”
University Alliance chief executive Maddalaine Ansell said: “We welcome Professor John Latham to his role as chair of University Alliance.
“For Britain and for the higher education sector it is a time of great uncertainty, but also huge opportunity.
“As a group of institutions, we believe that universities have a responsibility to their cities and regions.”