The Role of Universities in Building the Society and Economy of the Future: Policy Workshop Report

In September this year, The Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) and Professor Paul Baines (University of Leicester) co-organised a cross-party policy workshop to discuss and debate the role of universities in building the society and economy of the future. 

After two years of global political, social and financial instability due to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the role of universities in our society is now more contentious than ever. The policy workshop was set up to ask people from the higher education, politics and business sectors to give their personal and professional opinions on the relevance and importance of universities in our society today and their expectations of their importance in the future. Hosted at the House of Commons, the workshop was open to all, and attendees were invited on a first-come-first-served basis. This report summarises the details of the event and highlights the conclusions and suggestions drawn from it.

This report was compiled by Becca Bashford, Press Officer (CDBU), Prof Anne Sheppard (Executive Committee Chair of CDBU) and Prof Paul Baines. 


Notes to editors:

The CDBU was founded in 2012 by a wide range of concerned academics and public figures to campaign for the independence of UK universities and to resist the marketisation of higher education. For more information, please contact Press Officer Becca Bashford at