Universities are increasingly finding themselves having to perform vastly different roles than the ones they have traditionally been associated with. Not only is the university expected to be an educator and researcher, it is more and more expected to become an economic driver, business developer, strategic advisor, career counsellor and community champion. All this comes at the same time as increased social and economic complexities.
How can universities rise to the challenge? In our presentation to the GuildHE Strategic Planning Conference, Trevor Thorne of Southampton Solent University and I emphasised how new narratives need to be developed to communicate opportunity and target activity to maximise the effectiveness of a university’s role in the economy .