Coronavirus has impacted every corner of the UK, including the capital. As we look to rebuild and renew, different sectors will be critical to regional revivals, with higher education having a key role to play.
London is home to more than 50 higher education institutions and has more universities in the world’s top 40 than any other city. Together they act as a lynchpin in the capital’s economy, nurturing highly skilled and diverse talent, anchoring and unlocking business investment, and consolidating London’s reputation as a truly global city.
Businesses, government, and the Mayor’s office all have roles to play in enabling London’s universities to act as economic multipliers as we look to build back better from COVID-19.
Following consultation with London’s universities and representative bodies, the CBI is calling on the Mayor of London, to:
- Ensure universities are represented within City Hall’s plans for economic revival and are recognised as integral to London’s economic recovery
- Ensure no prospective or current student is unable to attend university because of digital and data poverty or exclusion. Alongside the CBI, create a London “tech guarantee” in collaboration with universities, colleges, and business
- Call on the government to create a streamlined and simplified visa process for international students that underpins the International Education Strategy
- Work with universities on coordinating international student travel from London’s airports to campuses and accommodation
- Engage with the newly appointed International Education Champion to support London university involvement in international trade missions at all levels of government.
The CBI will continue to emphasise that job creation, skills training and opportunities for young people must be the top priority in a jobs rich and inclusive recovery from coronavirus. Now is the time to empower higher education institutions to play their full transformative role across this agenda.