Brookes at the heart of business

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

John Cridland, Prof Alistair Fitt, Dawn Elson and Dr John Neill CBE

Two events held at Oxford Brookes this month highlighted the University’s importance in influencing business locally, nationally and internationally.

Last Monday (9 February) saw Oxford Brookes hosting an important launch for Venturefest 2015.

Oxfordshire’s premiere business networking initiative announced its plans for a radical new direction at an event hosted by the University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt.

Professor Fitt is a board member for Venturefest which offers new and growing businesses, investors and innovators connections to support, services and opportunities.

The event, held in the University’s award-winning Abercrombie Building on the Headington campus, saw the launch of a new direction in Venturefest’s mission to act as a gateway to connect people who want to ‘do’ business in Oxfordshire, while supporting the innovation and entrepreneurial landscape.

Venturefest 2015 launch (Lynn Shepherd, Dave Waller and Prof Alistair Fitt) Copyright Julian Rus García

The day after (10 February), Oxford Brookes hosted a high-profile event with the Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) as part of the University’s 150th Anniversary Lecture Series.

A panel discussion, entitled Enhancing pathways tohigher skills, was again hosted by Professor Fitt, alongside CBI Director-General John Cridland, Dr John Neill CBE, Chairman and Group Chief Executive for Unipart Group and Dawn Elson, Head of Engineering at Gatwick Airport Ltd.

Oxford Brookes is proud of its strong links with business and industry

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice Chancellor

The expert panel explored what a skilled society wants from higher education in the 21st century and, importantly, how does that get delivered?

Through questions from the audience, there were insightful reflections on this issue in the light of the forthcoming general election, considering how higher education, Government and business can work together to ensure graduates have the knowledge and skills for the modern age.

Professor Alistair Fitt commented: “Oxford Brookes is proud of its strong links with business and industry. These events are a further example of the University’s expertise and reach in positively influencing the economy and this is something which I am confident will continue to grow.”

Further information on Venturefest is available at

Find out more about Oxford Brookes' events online.