Arc Universities

The Arc Universities Group has announced new joint chairs of the Operating Board. Professor Yvonne Barnett of Anglia Ruskin University and Dr Phil Clare from the University of Oxford, will jointly chair the organisation’s Operating board from April 2021.

The Arc Universities Group (AUG), a network of nine universities between Oxford and Cambridge, was formed to foster collaboration, research, skills and innovation to support the economic growth of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. The AUG is working alongside business and government to support plans for sustainable growth, inclusivity and resilience across the region.

Professor Yvonne Barnett said: 

“Following the Government announcement of their commitment to the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, the universities of the Arc Universities Group are already working together to help shape and deliver on the ambitions for sustainable growth and success. I am excited to join Phil and the whole AUG Board in working towards this vision.”

With the Oxford-Cambridge Arc already generating more than £111bn of economic output each year, this could double to over £200 billion by 2050 if the region fully capitalises on its existing strength in science, technology and high value manufacturing.  

Dr Phil Clare said: 

“The Arc has the highest density of research and development institutions of any UK region. The Arc Universities are well placed to use our combined strengths across research, technology, science and innovation, to  provide coordinated support for increasing the Arc’s contribution to the UK economy and society.”

The appointments have been welcomed by Councillor Barry Wood, Chair of the Arc Leaders Group and Leader of Cherwell District Council:

“Our vision is for the Arc to be a global hub for innovation, and home to exemplary models of green development that will inspire communities around the world. Only through strong collaboration with the universities can we achieve this collective ambition. I look forward to working with Yvonne, Phil and all the Universities across the Arc as we work to build our region together”.

In other personnel changes, Dr Karen Kennedy, the University of Cambridge’s Head of Strategic Partnerships, has joined the AUG Operating Board. Following the retirement of Professor Kevin Hetherington, he is succeeded by Professor Kevin Shakesheff, new Open University Pro Vice Chancellor. Professor Tom Stephenson, of Cranfield University, is also retiring.

Chair of the Arc Universities Group, Professor Sir Peter Gregson said:

“I would like to express appreciation to Tom and Kevin to their long service at their respective institutions, but also for their tireless work as key players in the Arc Universities Group. They have been instrumental in helping to shape the shared vision across the nine universities to ensure that ground-breaking ideas and innovation helps to drive sustainable economic growth”.