University Enterprise Centre highlighted in Downing Street report
The University of Leeds has been featured in a new report published by 10 Downing Street, focusing on the entrepreneurial spirit in education.
Artist's impression of the proposed University Enterprise Zone building
The report is the latest in a series of moves from the government to make sure that young people leave education ready to work, with the skills and experience employers are after.
In the report, Lord Young, an adviser to the Prime Minister on small business and enterprise, states: I welcome the leadership of the University of Leeds in this area and the approach they have adopted to market and embed enterprise in the name and content of subject specific courses from Biotechnology to Fashion Design. They believe that this will be a key differentiator for applicants so they will choose the University of Leeds over others.
The Leeds Enterprise Centre, led by Director Professor Nigel Lockett, is also featured as a case study, highlighting our 30% growth year-on-year in the numbers of students engaging in enterprising activities.
Over 900 students engage with specialist modules, either elective or as part of their degree and 800 students have taken advantage of Spark, our business start-up service, or sought advice regarding developing enterprise skills.
Professor Nigel Lockett said, Im delighted to see our sector-leading work to embed enterprise both inside and outside the curriculum is being recognised by Government. Lord Young has long been an advocate for the positive role enterprise can play in our society and we recognise our responsibilities to help create the next generation of entrepreneurs. Enterprise at Leeds provides exceptional enterprise opportunities, education and support to all our students and graduates to enable social and economic impact."
The report also refers to the Universitys 40 businesses started during the last academic year and that 80% of businesses started by graduates are still in operation three years later.
Under his proposals, Lord Young recommends tracking employment and earnings of university alumni to help young people make better informed choices when selecting university courses and to drive up standards across the higher education sector by putting pressure on universities to make sure their courses are relevant to the world of work.
The proposals form part of the third and final report from Lord Young to the Prime Minister, which focuses on enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit in education.
Other proposals in the report include the introduction of a new Enterprise Passport a digital record of all extra-curricular and enterprise related activities that students take part in throughout their education and the introduction of Enterprise Advisors - a network of businesses and professionals that schools will be able to call on for advice and work experience opportunities.
Maintained by schools, the Enterprise Passport is a nod to the growing importance and value of extra-curricular experience and will for the first time give an official record of a young persons business and employability skills in addition to their academic qualifications.
Deputy Director of the Leeds Enterprise Centre, Dr Sarah Underwood, sat on the Advisory Board for the production of Enterprise for all.
Read the interview with Professor Nigel Lockett in the Yorkshire Post, as he outlines the University's ambitions and track record in research and enterprise.