Why we must protect universities and their impact on society

The value of the city's universities simply cannot be overstated.

Friday, 7th August 2020, 6:00 am
The Parkinson building at the University of Leeds.

Figures relating to their contribution to the economy, featured on today's YEP front page, speak for themselves: £1.6bn towards the UK and £1bn in Leeds alone.

And that more than 10,600 people are employed by universities in Leeds, which have a combined cohort of nearly 65,00 students, demonstrates their sheer impact on society

Their value stretches beyond education alone.

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Through the nurturing of young talent and opportunities afforded to local families who staff them, these institutions form a lasting bond among those with whom they become entwined.

It comes as no surprise that one third of working people who were surveyed said that their job depends, in some way, on a local university.

But universities have not been immune to the economic damage caused by coronavirus and, according to warnings issued today, the financial toll could see thousands of jobs lost.

The Government must consider the consequences if it does not act to protect these institutions - and the pathways that they create.