Opinion: Why our universities are so important

PUBLISHED: 08:30 13 October 2019

LLDC's CEO Lyn Garner sees the benefits of students in the park.

LLDC's CEO Lyn Garner sees the benefits of students in the park.


Over the last few weeks, towns and cities across the UK have been welcoming students for their first term at university, or welcoming back current students.

Universities are an important part of the legacy from the London 2012 Games here at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, bringing opportunity and innovation to Newham residents.

Our East Bank project, which you can see being built on two sites near the London Stadium and the London Aquatics Centre, includes two new universities: UCL East and UAL's London College of Fashion which will both welcome students three years from now. This means there will be around 10,000 students on site, creating countless opportunities, research and collaboration with business big and small.

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Meanwhile we already have a thriving student population on the Park. Loughborough University London is based at Here East, which was the Broadcast and Press Centre during the London Games, as well as Staffordshire University London. UCL also has an outpost at Here East, where students carry out ground-breaking research in areas such as architecture, infrastructure, transport, robotics, healthcare, manufacturing and environmental measurement.

This month it was announced that Liverpool Media Academy (LMA) will open a new London campus at Here East. The Liverpool-based media, music and performing arts institution, co-owned by performer Robbie Williams, will join the thriving tech, creative and education clusters already in situ.

So why are universities so important? Look at any university area, from Aberystwyth to Aberdeen, and you will see that the business and opportunity that abounds in these cities is the result of the talent and opportunity created by having universities just around the corner.

For example, University College Hospital, based at UCL's Bloomsbury campus is a world leader in medicine because of the direct connection with the university.

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