Keele University plays leading role in the UK’s pandemic recovery

Keele University is supporting Universities UK’s economic and social recovery campaign to help people and businesses recover from the wide-ranging damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

New research published today by Universities UK, ‘Universities and the UK’s economic recovery: an analysis of future impact’, was compiled by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE), and predicts that over the next five years universities in the West Midlands will:

  • Be involved in research projects worth almost £2 billion
  • Be part of regeneration projects worth £547 million to the local economy
  • Help 1,300 new businesses and charities to be formed
  • Train 16,000 nurses, 5,000 medics and 18,000 teachers

It comes as Universities UK launches its #GettingResults campaign, designed to put universities at the heart of the country’s economic and social recovery, with a renewed commitment from universities to do even more to reach out to new partners locally and nationally and deliver even greater impact than currently forecast.

Keele University is already supporting local employers in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire through the launch of our Keele Deal Recovery. The Deal aims to create a powerful and wide-ranging programme of contributions aimed at achieving a major impact on the region’s post-pandemic recovery and building long-term resilience through knowledge exchange and innovation.

The skills of Keele University graduates will also have an important role to play in the future success of businesses and sectors during the Covid-19 recovery process.

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, said: “Our students, staff, researchers, and graduates have so much to offer and we are proud of their knowledge, skills and expertise, and look forward to seeing them support businesses and industries bounce back in the years to come. We are working closely with our regional employers and partners so that they are getting the most out of the expertise and talent that our university can provide in this challenging process of recovery.”

Keele University provides workspace and support for SMEs in the purpose-built Smart Innovation Hub on its campus. One such start-up that has taken full advantage of Keele’s collaborative workspace and support programmes is Indigo Mentoring, a student start-up that specialises in the creation of mentoring software.

Indigo Mentoring, a mentoring software company founded by graduate James Doherty and joined by current student Emily Goodwin, has thrived since joining the Smart Innovation Hub. Emily, Indigo Mentoring’s Marketing Director, said: “To be located at Keele has presented us with a wealth of opportunities, including taking part in the Research and Innovation Support programme and connecting with other businesses through the University's networks. Together, this has really helped move our business forward.”

Speaking at the Keele Deal Recovery launch, Cllr Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “Since Keele University launched its Keele Deal Economy in 2017, the University has delivered a range of projects and initiatives that have supported economic and skills growth in Staffordshire, including helping with challenges of recovery faced by our town centres.

“Whilst there is no doubt that Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our economy, with the support of the University and our other partners, we are still ambitious for Staffordshire’s growth, recovery and renewal.”

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Universities UK’s President, said: "By working closely with their partners, including local government and employers, universities will play a vital role in the UK's post-Covid recovery. Together, they can contribute significantly to future economic success and improve lives. Moving forward it is important that employers fully take advantage of universities’ support and develop productive relationships so the nation can bounce back stronger from the pandemic.”