NOV 98] COVENTRY UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE
Coventry University - Students Come First
in his annual Awards Ceremonies address to students, Dr Michael Goldstein CBE,
Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, emphasised the major economic impact of the
University on the surrounding area, but also the University's resistance to simply
providing "Short-term 'oven-ready', 'microwavable' people for specific job
Dr Goldstein, while stating that students are "what we
are really about", explained the economic impact of the University on Coventry and
"We account for about 2,500 jobs and have a turnover
of £75 million a year. And £60 million of that ends up in the pay packets of Coventry
and Warwickshire people . . . The University is thus a major economic force in the
The Vice-Chancellor continued that, as an institution that
is "in many respects a business, and a big one at that", the operation of the
University has been re-defined in a real business sense, and its students provide
intellectual underpinning to businesses in the region.
Many students undertake placements with local companies and
many remain the area after their studies.
"An increasing number start up their own businesses in
the area, aided by our pioneering Graduate Enterprise Scheme. Much research in the
University is in close collaboration with local firms - improving their competitiveness
and helping to secure their future", stated Dr Goldstein.
The activities already outlined and the University's
international dimension, providing education to students from over 60 countries, a
multi-million pound contribution to Britain's exports, means that 'Yes, in these senses we
are a highly successful business.'
But the Vice-Chancellor also emphasised Coventry
University's crucial difference.
"We are driven by educational imperatives, not by
worship of the bottom line . . . money for us is a means and not an end. Our focus in on
public service; providing opportunities for the future; developing human potential;
delivering high academic standards; ensuring quality learning; supporting our
For Coventry University students are not just customers or,
at the end of their studies commercial products like cars, or fish and chips.
"Students actually make education. They actively create the phenomenon of
While explaining Coventry University's "pride in being
pioneers in providing vocational higher education . . .", Dr Goldstein said that
"We resist calls to provide short-term, 'oven-ready',
'microwavable' people for specific job markets. Our prime function and role is to prepare
the ground. To focus on students as people. To take a longer term view."
The Vice-Chancellor concluded his address by congratulating
"We wish you all well in the years to come. We hope
that we have lived up to your expectations of us, and that we have fulfilled our ideals;
that the University has provided a preparation for you now to take forward; with
confidence, with hope, and with belief in yourselves. Good luck and best wishes to you
Cyrrhian Macrae or Floyd Jebson 01203 838352