Funding boost for students to work with business and communities

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The University will receive £500,000 from the Office for Students and Research England.

  • 22 April 2020
  • 3 min read

The University of Portsmouth is to receive £500,000 funding to boost students’ involvement with businesses and organisations in the local community.

Portsmouth is one of 20 universities and colleges awarded a total of £10 million funding by the Office for Students (OfS) and Research England.

The aim of the project is to understand the benefits to students and businesses through engaging in partnerships, engagement with communities and third sector organisations, and professional training – collectively known as ‘knowledge exchange’ activities. In turn, local businesses and organisations will benefit from a greater number of highly skilled students who are able to work with them on specific projects.

Engaging students in this way is a key part of our strategy to help students reach their potential, through outstanding employability opportunities to become a success in their future careers.

Trevor Keeble, Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

The two-year ‘Creative Students, Creative Business’ project, starting in June 2020, will involve a number of local business and organisations including Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Portsmouth Creates and Novatech, to evaluate the University’s current knowledge exchange activities. Over 200 students per year take part in activities including the Business Consultancy Project, the student-led Law Clinic and Creative Practice units, across its Faculty of Business and Law and Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries.

From this, the project will identify the components and activities that provide best practice for knowledge exchange and look to replicate them across the University.

This funding will allow us to deepen our partnerships and respond to local business needs and aspirations at a time when it could not be more important.

Peter Hooley, Director of Business Development

The University hopes to increase the number and diversity of students who are involved in knowledge exchange and to develop their enterprise skills and commercial awareness, as well as attributes such as leadership and teamwork.

Trevor Keeble, Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, said: “Understanding best practice in this area will be key to ensuring that students’ involvement in knowledge exchange activities continues to shape them into graduates who are well prepared for the world of work. Engaging students in this way is a key part of our strategy to help students reach their potential, through outstanding employability opportunities to become a success in their future careers.”

Peter Hooley, Director of Business Development, in the Faculty of Business and Law, said: “In any one year, there are around 100 live projects with our students working with a wide range of companies from the Royal Navy and Portsmouth City Council to innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs. These projects provide significant results such as new product development, investment decisions and strategic sales opportunities.

“This funding will allow us to deepen our partnerships and respond to local business needs and aspirations at a time when it could not be more important.”

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