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Message from Alan Langlands, Chief Executive (August 2012)

01 August 2012

During a recent visit to Birmingham I was delighted to hear the positive feedback that the University had received as hosts of the Jamaican Olympic Team in the run-up to the Games. This is just one example of the key role that higher education is playing in supporting a successful Olympics and Paralympic Games. Loughborough of course has the honour of hosting Team GB. These positive experiences will have a longer-term legacy as new and enduring partnerships are forged with countries from around the world long after the Games have finished.

HEFCE has been working with universities, colleges and other organisations to support higher education’s response to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games since 2005, when London was announced as the host city.

Our quality-related funding has supported sports-related research, and our capital funding has been instrumental in transforming indoor and outdoor sports facilities in campuses up and down the land, paving the way for strong links to visiting Olympic teams. 

Over the past five or so years we have also invested over £4 million in a range of projects aimed at encouraging student volunteering, supporting social inclusion, and promoting sporting and cultural opportunities for local communities and people with disabilities. 

We contributed £1 million to the Creative Campus Initiative, a consortium of 12 universities in the South East which has brought together artists, students, academics, schools and local communities to deliver an exciting and innovative programme of events for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and beyond. Universities in the South West are working with schools, businesses and other partners through the RELAYS project to provide a regional educational legacy in art and youth sports. 

HEFCE, the University of Nottingham and British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) have joined forces to fund the first National Disability Officer post for university sport. With the Skills Funding Agency, we fund Podium, a national coordination and communications unit for universities’ and colleges’ London 2012 activity. 

These projects, and the knowledge and business gains from research and capital investments, are a vivid demonstration of the contribution of higher education to the national economy, culture and society. They provide a lasting legacy which will benefit students, communities and the wider public.

Page last updated 1 August 2012

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