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University of Warwick to host Vince Cable, Boris Johnson and Russian Ambassador at London Global University Summit ahead of G8 world-leaders meeting

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation Globeand Skills, the Rt. Hon Vince Cable MP; Mayor
of London, Boris Johnson and the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom, Dr Alexander Yakovenko will join business-leaders, senior representatives from both the IMF and OECD and Vice-Chancellors from over 30 countries to discuss the relationship between ‘universities and economic growth’.

Hosted this year by the University of Warwick in central London, the Global University Summit is an annual event that takes place in alignment with the rolling G8 Presidency, making sure that the world’s leaders get to hear the voices of the world’s universities. A declaration of policy recommendations capturing the discussions taking place over the two days will be presented to the Director of the G8 Presidency Unit.

Universities are not only one the world’s most globally orientated sectors, they are also one of the richest sources of ideas, research and innovation; specifically focussed on tackling global challenges. This year’s Summit focuses on the particularly timely issue of universities and economic growth, and showcases the way that universities can act as catalysts for businesses, politicians and innovators to come together and discuss globally-important issues.

Global University Summit 2013 Chair, and Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick, Professor Nigel Thrift said: “The Global University Summit provides an excellent opportunity, at an opportune moment for university leaders, the international business community and policy-makers to come together and frame the relationship between universities and economic growth in a way that transcends national boundaries.”

Delegates will hear from over 50 speakers in the two days, including the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz; Chief Executive of Cisco, Phil Smith; the President of New York University, Professor John Sexton and esteemed economic historian Professor Lord Robert Skidelsky. The Summit will be hosted by broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

The Summit is sponsored by Thomson Reuters and supported by Times Higher Education and the UK Higher Education International Unit.

Secretary of State for BIS, Rt. Hon Dr Vince Cable MP will say: "The UK has world class universities, attracting students from across the globe. We recognise the huge contribution that international students bring, enriching campuses and stimulating the economy. With the demand for higher education growing worldwide, we are developing an industrial strategy for education exports to ensure the UK's universities can take advantage of the growing international appetite for learning."

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson will say: "I am delighted to welcome the Global University Summit to London for the first time. The theme of universities and economic growth is extremely appropriate in this city. Our world-class higher education and research institutions are playing a vital role in London’s drive to remain competitive, firmly at the forefront of innovation and global thinking. It is my goal to ensure this excellent sector remains one of the capital’s best assets."

Dr Nemat Shafik, Deputy-Director of the IMF will say: “Financial markets have staged an impressive recovery in recent months. Thanks to the actions of policymakers, the global economy no longer looks quite as treacherous as it did six months ago. But in many parts of the world, there is no sense that the crisis is over. In far too many countries, improvements in financial markets have not translated into improvements in the real economy—and in the lives of people."

"The most effective way to create jobs is through growth. However, to make significant inroads into youth unemployment governments need to think outside the box. This is where education policies come into play - analytical skills, innovation, an ability to join the dots will be key for the high quality jobs that everyone aspires to—and that is where Universities have a special role to play."

Dr Joanna Newman, Director of the UK Higher Education International Unit said:

“The Summit provides a valuable platform to bring together higher education and business. Links between universities and business are vital, but the largest and most transformative economic impacts from higher education occur because the core mission of universities is to create and impart knowledge. This essential mission creates relationships that endure short-term market fluctuations, and innovate far ahead of a market application.”

Notes to editors

For more information, contact:

Alex Miles, University of Warwick – 07917115197 – (logistics and accreditation)

Peter Dunn, University of Warwick – 07767655860 – (press comment)