Arc Universities

Ahead of the Oxford to Cambridge Partnership, Chair of Arc Universities Group, Professor Alistair Fitt, outlines the opportunity for our regions’ universities to contribute to global green innovation.

Universities play a crucial role in their communities, fostering growth, supporting students, and driving innovation. Together with the outstanding further education sector, our universities and colleges in this region provide green skills, sustainable technologies, and environmental insights that inform practical decisions on water management, citizen engagement, and systems thinking.

This presents a significant opportunity, considering that an estimated one in five UK jobs will be affected by the transition to a green economy, totalling around 6.3 million jobs. Our region already possesses a significant portion of the UK’s capability in the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector, which generated £206 billion in sales in 2021, involving 75,700 businesses and employing 1.2 million people. Globally, the challenge of upskilling the labor force is substantial, with the International Labour Organisation estimating that creating 100 million new green jobs by 2030 would lead to a net job creation of 25 million.

By 2050, over 50% of the global population will be under 30. Efforts, such as the United Nations Environment Programme’s inner development goals, aim to equip young people with agency and advocacy powers to drive change. Collaboration with governments, industry sectors, business clusters, citizens, and students is needed to tackle this task in our region and beyond.

The Oxford to Cambridge Partnership, its economy and environment boards, the Supercluster Board, and the AUG all represent the various stakeholders involved. It is our collective responsibility to embed green innovation into early years, lifelong learning, and our everyday lives.”

Sign up to attend the Oxford to Cambridge Conference on Friday 24th November.

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