New Russell Group chair celebrates UK higher education system

07 September 2017

The new chair of the Russell Group of Universities today said research intensive higher education institutions are engines of social mobility and economic growth that are fundamental to the future success of the UK. Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli also said that HE should play a prominent role in the UK’s industrial strategy and in Brexit negotiations.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal of the University of Glasgow, set out his priorities for the Russell Group in a robust defence of the value of the university sector to students, the economy and society.

He said: “The UK has what is probably the very best higher education system in the world, in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and impact. Russell Group universities have been a big part of that success. At a time of economic pressure, particularly as we are still recovering from the financial crisis, it is easy to forget long-term investment and this is what higher education is about.

“Russell Group universities and other research intensive higher education institutions are engines of social mobility and economic growth that are fundamental to the future success of the UK. It is imperative that higher education is integral to the Government’s industrial strategy and that the university sector in general, and Russell Group in particular, has a prominent voice in the Brexit negotiations.

“What I will be doing as chair of the Russell Group is reiterating that positive message. Universities have real public benefit. Every pound invested in higher education, and particularly institutions like Russell Group universities which bring together world-class research and teaching, will have a transformative effect on society.”

Acting Director of the Russell Group Dr Tim Bradshaw added: “This is a time of real change for the UK, with universities front and centre of the country’s future prosperity. It is vital that the higher education sector has leaders, such as Professor Muscatelli, who understand the huge contribution universities play in our economy, culture and society.

“Anton exemplifies much of what is best about the Russell Group. Growing up in Italy and the Netherlands gave him an international outlook that has been at the heart of his work in Glasgow. He understands the value of drawing on the best ideas and minds from around the world, and the power that education has to change lives.”

In this video, Professor Muscatelli talks about the role Russell Group universities have in supporting the economy and society.

 

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