4 months, 3 weeks ago
East London’s Collaborative Ecosystem
In a pocket of East London, the Here East campus is becoming a hotbed for the jobs for the future - not just simply filling roles today. The collaborative ethos that we have fostered here has driven much of this impact. With around 1,800 people either working for or studying at universities on our campus out of the 5,400 based here - there is a significant opportunity for universities and businesses to engage with one another.
An urban ecosystem is really the sum of its parts. The campus that has been created at Here East is a melting pot of academic institutions, cultural sites and businesses that have set up to collaborate here, and this concept - known as ‘clustering’ - has a proven track record of success.
Collaboration is the essence of the Here East model, and geography and placemaking are central to this. If you physically situate a world leading academic institution alongside a host of pioneering businesses and entrepreneurs, the chances are they will find ways of working together and creating new concepts and ventures.
Universities have a central role to play in the UK’s economic recovery. They are the birthplace of many of the best and brightest ideas, and coupled with the culture of enterprise of the businesses onsite - they harness limitless potential.
Whilst remote connections are a mainstay of the pandemic, there is nothing quite like getting together in person under one roof to collaborate. We have countless examples of this happening on campus - and there are particularly powerful connections that have been made, and continue to be made, between universities and businesses that call Here East home.
In 2022, we commissioned research from Oxford Economics to assess our impact of the 10 years from 2012. Half of the respondents to Oxford Economics’ survey reported that they had increased employment as a result of collaboration with other tenants on campus. And every single business that took part said that they had either collaborated already or would be open to collaboration with others, citing outcomes of knowledge sharing and upskilling.
All of the universities on campus, alongside the Here East Scholarship Programme, have provided opportunities to local residents. For example, Liverpool Media Academy (LMA) which delivers degrees in the creative media, music and performing arts sectors has benefitted from being situated amongst the cultural and creative arts businesses on campus.
The incredible cultural assets around Here East have also been leveraged by LMA. Their dancers performed their end of year show at the iconic Hackney Empire and their actors took their end of year show to The Yard Theatre across the canal.
The presence of Universities at Here East is therefore not only incredibly valuable for our students but is also vital to support local independents and collaborate with other like-minded companies in the area. The more partners and links we have around us, the more opportunities we can create.
Higher education is hugely impactful - and has a proven track record of changing the course of future prospects. This is evident through the Here East Scholarship Programme: these scholarships offer students financial relief throughout their education and ensure that the scholars are equipped with the infrastructure to build an excellent skill set. The scholarship programme welcomes students from the local area who are the first in their families to go to university and those who may be deterred by the costs of pursuing a degree.
The scholarship has given each scholar a range of opportunities to engage with businesses in the area, putting them on the radar of many for future employment prospects. The scholars have been positively impacted by the proactive community of Here East members who are keen on tailoring their focus towards exposing students to the best opportunities for their futures.
The relationship is symbiotic. At one of the most exciting times to be a part of the high growth tech industry – companies are struggling to find talent. They are yearning for skilled employees in an industry where there is a dearth of digital skills needed to fill the 100,000 plus unplugged vacancies.
This relationship between universities and businesses is a powerful economic force to be reckoned with. This model of curation that has been established at Here East - to bring together academics and businesses - is upheld as an example of excellence globally. Our Oxford Economics report provides us with a case in point: the campus has supported more than 10,000 jobs across the UK, and over 5,000 in neighbouring local boroughs – sustaining £317 million in wages and contributing £700 million in GVA towards GDP in 2021 alone.
When we’re all under one roof there are boundless opportunities for growth. People in the local community of East London are driven by a desire to connect and collaborate, and to exchange knowledge and ideas - and this is something we will continue to build as we look towards our future.