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Apeldoorn: British-Dutch Dialogue Conference 2012 on Higher Education at the Heart of Growth opens

Apeldoorn: British-Dutch Dialogue Conference 2012 on “Higher Education at the Heart of Growth” opens in Manchester

High-level bilateral networking conference brings together 100 hand-picked delegates from the UK and the Netherlands to share innovative ideas on how universities can stimulate economic growth in Europe

One hundred of the brightest and best British and Dutch thinkers will gather in Manchester, UK from Sunday 11 to Tuesday 13 March 2012 to share ideas, experiences and creative new responses to the challenges and opportunities facing higher education in our two countries, and to explore the contribution higher education institutions can make to the economic recovery.

Apeldoorn delegates, who have been hand-picked from among the most influential British and Dutch university heads, policy-makers, parliamentarians, business leaders, think-tankers, NGO representatives, students and media, select one of 4 specialist sub-themes: Education and Employability, Enterprise and Exploration, Engaging with the Regional Economy, and The EU&hellip and Elsewhere. They will attend tailored workshops and practical site visits in Manchester illustrating these themes. A wider public will be able to join in discussions via the Conference’s Twitter feed (#apeldoorn12).

In a joint statement shortly before the opening of the Conference, Paul Arkwright (British Ambassador to the Netherlands), and Pim Waldeck (Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Kingdom), who will both attend the Conference, said:

“The Dutch and the British have long understood the need to support and promote higher education, science and research in order to build successful, dynamic and innovative societies, fit for 21st century challenges.

Given the enormous scale of the difficulties currently facing European economies, it is now more important than ever to get it right when it comes to preparing our talented young people for employment in today’s globalised jobs market.

If we are to succeed in pushing through the transformations our economies need, we must find a way to harness the opportunities provided by these radical shifts in the world economic order. We can start by ensuring that our higher education institutions remain at the cutting edge of research, innovation and science, fully plugged into business needs and expectations, and able to produce the employable graduates, knowledge and ideas to turn educational excellence into prosperity for all our citizens. How this ideal can be turned into a reality is for the experts to discuss in Manchester over the next few days.”

The Rt Hon David Willetts MP (Minister of State for Universities and Science) will give the opening keynote speech at Manchester Town Hall on the evening of Sunday 11 March.

Other key role players and delegates include:

Lord Andrew Adonis (Member of the House of Lords)

Simon Anholt (Independent policy advisor)

Dr Lodewijk Asscher (Deputy Mayor and Alderman for Finance, Economic Affairs, Youth and Education, Amsterdam City Council)

Dr Jo Beall (Director, Education and Society, British Council)

Babs van den Bergh (Director, Research and Science Policy, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)

Charles Clarke (Visiting Professor, University of East Anglia)

Professor Rod Coombs (Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester)

Dr David Docherty (Chief Executive, Council for Industry and Higher Education)

Libby Hackett (Director, University Alliance)

Sybrand van Haersma Buma (Chairman of the Christian Democrat Party)

Francine Houben (Founding Partner and Creative Director, Mecanoo Architecten)

Will Hutton (Principal of Hertford College, Oxford and Chair of the Big Innovation Centre)

Lousewies van der Laan (Vice-President, European Liberal Democrats)

Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas (Chair, London and Partners)

Paul Milliken (Vice-President Human Resources UK/Ireland/Nordics, Shell)

Dr Neil Lee (Head of Cities Programme, The Work Foundation)

Pauline van der Meer Mohr (President, Executive Board, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Councillor Sue Murphy (Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council)

Prof Wendy Purcell (Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Plymouth)

Dr Alexander Rinnooy Kan (Chairman Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands)

Yvonne van Rooy (President of the Executive Board, Utrecht University)

Liz Shutt (Head of Policy, University Alliance)

Prof Dr Marijk van der Wende (Dean, Amsterdam University College / Professor in Higher Education, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Bernard Wientjes (President, Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers)

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