Universities Minister to return for 2012 Dearing Conference

22 Dec 2011 15:05:00.000

PA 398/2011

Minister of State for Universities and Science, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP will return to the Annual Dearing Higher Education Conference on Thursday 23 February to deliver the plenary address to delegates from around the world. 

The 2012 event is to focus on ‘The Business Growth Benefits of Higher Education’, gathering speakers including John Cridland CBE, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Professor Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), and university and business leaders.

Now in its third year, hosted by The University of Nottingham at the East Midlands Conference Centre on University Park, the Dearing Conference has become an established forum for debate on the future of universities and higher education.

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It will field top speakers from business and public sector organisations, including the Amanda Nevill, Director of the British Film Institute (BFI); President of Boeing UK, Sir Roger Bone; Executive Vice-President of Manufacturing Engineering at Rolls-Royce, Dr Hamid Mughal; and Charlotte Hogg, Head of Retail Distribution and Intermediaries at Santander.

Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Melbourne will open the Conference by delivering the first annual Universitas 21 Lecture.

Professor Rod Coombs, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester; Nick Watkins, Managing Partner of White Cloud Capital; and Neil Davidson, Chairman of Nottingham spin-out Eminate, will all share experiences of how universities and businesses work collaboratively and support trade. 

Throughout the day over delegates will explore four broad subjects:

  • Supporting strategies for growth — Universities’ vital role in partnering with business, the public sector and government to deliver research knowledge, policy expertise, high-level skills and support driving enterprise and trade. 
  • International perspectives — How globalised higher education and worldwide collaborative networks can deliver life-changing benefits to millions through improved education, shared expertise and accelerated innovation. 
  • Strength in partnerships — Discussing the benefits of university partnerships with business and public organisations, to support research, boost skills, develop talented professionals and create graduate careers. 
  • Innovation — How connecting businesses with universities can drive and enhance their competitiveness through access to expertise, new technologies and higher skills.

The University hosts the Annual Dearing Higher Education Conference each year in memory of Lord Dearing, who died in 2009, recognising his contribution to university education. As Sir Ron Dearing, he left an indelible mark on higher education with his transformative 1997 report Higher Education in the Learning Society. He also had particular impact on The University of Nottingham as its Chancellor from 1993 to 2000.

Lord Dearing held a series of major appointments in higher education, as chairman of the Universities Funding Council and its successor body the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

“The University of Nottingham was privileged to have Lord Dearing serve as our fifth Chancellor for seven years,” said Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham. “During his term of office he oversaw a major expansion of the University’s student numbers, the opening of the Jubilee Campus and establishment of The University of Nottingham in Malaysia; a landmark time for Nottingham.”

The University of Nottingham is an acknowledged leader in globalised higher education. It has full campuses in the United Kingdom, at Ningbo in China, and at Semenyih in Malaysia and has twice hosted the annual International Leadership Conference: Managing Global Universities at its campuses in Asia.

The University has also just launched its new Asia Business Centre to support innovation partnerships and knowledge-transfer programmes across Asia. Follow its news at www.twitter.com/AsiaBusinessCtr 

For details and to register for the Annual Dearing Conference, visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/lorddearing.

— Ends —

Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as “the embodiment of the modern international university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK’s top 10 and the world’s top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011, a league table of the most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia. Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. For more details, visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/impactcampaign  

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Award for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research on global food security.

More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news  

Story credits

More information is available from Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092, tim.utton@nottingham.ac.uk  

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Simon Butt

Simon Butt - Stakeholder Relations and Campaign Manager

Email: simon.butt@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 84 67156 Location: University Park

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