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Impact of University underlined at Kent Ambassadors visit
The University of Kent's economic and cultural impact on the county was underlined at an informal gathering of the Kent Ambassadors on Thursday (14 June 2012).
The gathering - which included a tour of the University's Canterbury campus - was attended by over 30 Ambassadors, including Chairman Bobby Neame, of Kent brewers Shepherd Neame.
The Ambassadors were welcomed by Professor Sir Robert Worcester, the University's Chancellor, John Simmonds, Chair of the Universitys Council, and Dame Julia M Goodfellow, the Vice-Chancellor. Ambassadors were updated on activity at the University and heard how it contributes around £0.6 billion every year to the south east.
This was highlighted by an independent report - The Economic Impact of the University of Kent, published in December 2011 - showing, for example, that the University supports around 6,800 jobs in the region and its students contribute £211 million to the local economy.
'But,' Dame Julia said, 'the University's impact on the region is not just economic. We also make an important cultural contribution including, for example, our major investment in arts facilities at Medway and our sponsorship of arts celebrations such as the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival.'
Dame Julia also highlighted the importance that the University is placing on preparing its 20,000 students for the world of work. 'We are trying to make sure all our students are special,' she said. 'We have, for example, launched a unique Employability Points Scheme, where students gain rewards for work-related experience, which is actively supported by nearly 100 companies so far.'
John Simmonds told Ambassadors that, in a period of enormous change in higher education, the University's foresight and investment in areas such as student accommodation and teaching facilities, was paying dividends. 'It means that Kent is in a better position than many of our competitors,' he said.
The Kent Ambassadors are a group of around 90 highly successful experienced people who either live or work in Kent and come together to promote the county. Both the Universitys Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor are among the members.
Story published at 11:41am 19 June 2012