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South West Spoke

The South West Spoke Region

The SW Spoke region covers the following 13 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs):

  • Arts University College at Bournemouth
  • Bath Spa University
  • Bournemouth University
  • University College Falmouth
  • University College Plymouth St Mark and St John
  • Open University in the South West
  • Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester
  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Plymouth
  • University of the West of England, Bristol

These 13 HEIs constitute a substantial sector with influence in many spheres. In total, universities in the South West contribute £2.9bn to the regional economy.

SW England

SW England

Over 155,000 students study in the South West, 48% of which originate from the South West, 41% come from other parts of the UK and 11% are international students. The South West has the third highest level of academic attainment in England, with 29% of economically active adults qualified to at least degree level or above.

Together, universities create approximately 66,000 full time jobs and are some of the largest employers in the region. Universities in the South West have generated over 50 new companies with a turnover exceeding £20 million and over 295 active patents.

Three of the region's universities are in the top ten of the UK Green League 2009, receiving a first class award for their environmental management and performance. 

Work of the SW Spoke Team

The SW Spoke team coordinated over 40 projects in the South West valued at more than £1.2 million.

Bringing together universities and other STEM-related organisations from across the region and engaging them directly in the activities of the national programme, the team also acted as a conduit through which national practice was channelled and embedded directly within the higher education sector.

In addition, the team: enabled regional networks that brought together appropriate stakeholders; ensured that project activities aligned with the aims and objectives of the national programme and with the unique industrial profiles and HE specialisms found in the SW; supported projects' sustainability and evaluation strategies and disseminated project outputs widely.

The SW Spoke team was made up of:

  • Dr Fran Laughton (SW Spoke Director)
  • Dr Sarah Chatwin (Assistant Regional Director)
  • Ruth Waring (Development Officer for Higher Skills)
  • Ed Stevens (Regional Officer for Widening Participation, Community Engagement & Curriculum Enhancement)
  • Alana Coyle (SW Spoke Administrator)