University of Warwick: University of Warwick partnership with University College Birmingham set to open up opportunities for young people and strengthen economic recovery

The University of Warwick and University College Birmingham have announced today, Thursday 8th July 2021, a new partnership that will provide more opportunities for young people and strengthen the post pandemic economic recovery of the West Midlands.

From the start of 2022, many of University College Birmingham’s undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, and some higher level apprenticeships, will be accredited and awarded by the University of Warwick.

However, the new partnership is already looking far beyond accreditation. Both universities are also exploring many other areas of co-operation, which are expected to benefit students and help the West Midlands‘ economic recovery from the pandemic.

Caption Left to Right: Alpha Jallow, University College Birmingham Guild of Students President 2020-21, and Luke Mepham, University of Warwick Students’ Union President 2020-21Building on the core strengths of both universities, the partnership will have a focus on widening access for students from all backgrounds, including further opportunities for postgraduate and research-led study. It will also provide new pathways for apprentices, with Warwick already having one of the largest degree apprenticeship programmes in the Russell Group.

Through the collaboration, both universities’ students will have the opportunity to connect with broader high quality employer networks, supporting and helping students achieve even stronger employability outcomes, while altogether strengthening regional economic and societal recovery.

Ultimately, the new partnership brings together the University of Warwick’s excellent research and employment reputation and University College Birmingham’s strengths in teaching, learning and proven expertise in securing excellent educational and employment outcomes for people from neighbourhoods with traditionally low progression to higher education.

Professor Michael Harkin, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of University College Birmingham, said the vocational and professional fields represented by its courses were in areas where employment was expected to grow and the partnership would enrich this. He said:

“This partnership will significantly open up more opportunities and tangible benefits for students, bolstered by our £130 million investment in new facilities. Crucially, it will also support and drive regional growth and productivity. Both universities are business-facing, entrepreneurial, employability-focused with links with industry and we are excited about the possibilities this new strategic partnership can bring.”

Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick, said:

“As a highly ranked, globally connected institution that also has a strong commitment to our region, we want to break down educational, financial and social barriers to a university education, particularly for our young people in the Midlands and Warwickshire, and play a significant role in supporting our region’s post pandemic economic recovery. Warwick is already working to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds or groups under-represented in higher education, particularly through our Warwick Scholars Programme.

“This new partnership reinforces our ability to continue to transform the lives of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and will help deliver many of the skills that will be highly sought after by local employers coming out of the pandemic.”

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