a university challenge for birmingham
In December 2009, the Centre for Cities published its report University Challenge: Growing the Knowledge Economy in Birmingham for Birmingham City Council.
The report shakes the beliefs the city has about itself. Birmingham is no longer a manufacturing city; only 1% of jobs are in high-value manufacturing. The notion that digital and creative industries are an economic driver are knocked on the head; they employ a mere 7K people, at 1.1% marginally more than in high-value manufacturing.
The city's assets are, the report argues, its science base, its diverse population, central location, cultural offer and environmental ambition.
Its future success will depend how well it can meet a "university challenge" — the local universities, the report advises, hold the key to growing the city's small (and currently declining) private sector economy.
NOTE: The photograph of Old Joe and the campus at Birmingham University is by Tom Thorpe, reproduced here with his kind permission.