In response to the UK’s Government’s Levelling Up White Paper announcement, Durham University has released information detailing its support and contribution to this agenda.
Professor Karen O’Brien, Vice Chancellor and Warden of Durham University, said:
“Durham University is proud to have worked with partners across the North East of England for nearly 200 years to drive investment, innovation, job creation and development, and the adaptation of our economy for the challenges that lie ahead.
“We are actively engaged with our local communities to tackle inequalities and embrace new opportunities through our impactful research, innovation and investment to transform lives for the better.
“We are at the forefront in boosting education, employment and infrastructure in Durham and shaping sustainable economic growth in North East England.
“We welcome the Government’s focus on Levelling Up and look forward to continuing discussions, locally and nationally, on how we can contribute to this important agenda.
“We are committed to raising educational attainment in North East England and expanding the work we already do with schools, including those in the Education Investment Areas, and supporting further development of post-16 providers in the region.
“We provide training and qualifications for teachers, many of whom continue to live and work in the region. Our flagship Maths School will benefit talented students who would not otherwise have access to post-16 mathematics education, and we are a major partner in the Laidlaw Teaching and Leadership Centre at Sedgefield Community College, which will provide additional classroom space as well as a hub for training secondary school teachers.
“Our Memorandum of Understanding with Durham County Council further outlines our commitment to support the local educational environment to encourage wider participation and diversity in the attainment of key educational qualifications, thus supporting the regional economic skills demand.”
Durham University has also released examples of specific ways in which their initiative is supporting the Levelling Up agenda.
The emphasis on support for local business is evident, through the Orbit enterprise zone with access to the university’s research expertise, support and learning. Furthermore, the university is committed to commercialising innovation and boosting the region’s economy with Northern Accelerator.
Furthering post-16 mathematics education across the North East England with Durham Mathematics School, as well as the introduction of the new scholarship programme for North East students to study at Durham, are positive contributions to the implemented agenda.
The Laidlaw Teaching and Leadership Centre at Sedgefield Community College further expands the sphere of educational innovation.
The university has also expressed its ongoing support for apprentices and local jobs with the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy fund.
Support for Durham County’s UK City of Culture 2025 further demonstrates involvement with the agenda.
Durham University has stressed its wide range of research-based continuing professional development (CPD) and outreach in Science for schools and teachers.
Following the university’s response to the Levelling Up White Paper, it is through their demonstrations of innovative engagement and contributions that the agenda is being implemented within the university and its wider community.