North West businesses are 'in the dark'...

North West businesses are 'in the dark'...

Posted on 19/03/2013 by Phil Hall


...when it comes to working with universities, according to new research.

Insider‘s first Business of Education survey, which will be launched today (13 November 2012) at an event in Salford, found two-thirds of companies surveyed that had not worked with universities before were unclear what was on offer.

Insider features editor Rupert Cornford said: “The higher education sector is going through unprecedented change at the moment, with organisations having to wear more of a commercial hat.

“These findings demonstrate that, despite the best efforts of the sector in recent years to become more business facing, many companies are still unaware universities provide services which can help them.”

The research, conducted on Insider‘s website, asked business people for their experiences of dealing with universities.

Nearly half of respondents scored it four out of five and 92 per cent said they would consider working with a university again.

Among the needs of businesses were using universities for R&D, specific consultancy and apprenticeships and training.

Experiences were largely positive with opportunities for funding, fresh insight, access to specialist advice and a strong focus on small- and medium-sized companies cited as plus points.

Among the negative comments were navigating the university hierarchy, speed of decision making, a lack of understanding of businesses’ needs and the preaching of academia.

Cornford added: “Academia and business do work in different ways, but there are many examples of effective collaboration between the two. Now, more than ever, is an opportunity to make this relationship work.”

Today’s Business of Education conference at Salford City Stadium is set to attract 100 delegates from the private and education sector.