As the Times Higher Education ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2015‘, the University of Leeds has adopted enterprise as one of the four pillars of its strategy and as one of its five students’ union values. Led by the Vice-Chancellor, the senior enterprise team act as champions both on campus and within national organisations. The results of this commitment can be seen on all sides.
In 2013-14, the university gained £5.3 million from intellectual property and registered 374 patents. Its spin-out companies attracted £43.2 million in investments and created 426 full-time equivalent jobs. It also helped develop 275 regional businesses through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Growth Programme.
In the same academic year, more than 900 students undertook enterprise electives, half of them outside the business school. The university started a popular MSc in enterprise, set up fully funded ‘Year in Enterprise placements and enrolled 13,000 people from 105 countries on its ‘Starting a Busines’ massive open online course (MOOC). Such achievements have also enabled Leeds to make significant progress towards assembling an investment of more than £40 million for a 10,500 sq m University Innovation and Enterprise Centre.
“Enterprise is at the heart of the institutional vision of the University of Leeds,” noted the judges, “with senior staff, experienced educators and leading researchers driving this agenda across the whole university.” This was reflected in increasing “curriculum opportunities for enterprise education”, owing to “unprecedented levels of alumni and business community support”, as well as “a strong local and regional impact” in both public and private sectors.
Rory Bremner (host), Brian Baille (Head of Business Incubation), Dr Sarah Underwood (Director of Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies), Kairen Skelley (Head of Business Start-up), Keith Burnley (CEO of NCEE), Prof Nigel Lockett (Director of Enterprise Learning)
Professor Nigel Lockett
Professor of Enterprise at Leeds University Business School