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Universities boost South West economy

University of Exeter is a substantial contributor to the region's economy Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A new survey suggests that the University of Exeter contributes £600 million to the south west economy each year and that the region's universities generate 51,780 jobs.

The report by Universities UK (UUK) has, for the first time, quantified the economic benefit generated by the region’s 12 Universities. It says the total revenue of South West higher education institutions was £1.7 billion in 2011-12.

Geoff Pringle, Chief Operating Officer at the University of Exeter commented:

“Recent studies in the UK have highlighted the importance of higher education to the national economy but it has been difficult to quantify the impact regionally - until now.

“The University of Exeter contributes not only financially to the region but also by providing a graduate workforce that raises productivity and stimulates economic growth.

The opportunity is now to work collaboratively with both business and government, exploiting and supporting regional specialisations, to deliver even more regional success in the future for the South West.”

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Teachers take strike action across the South West

Some schools in the region are partially open Credit: ITV Westcountry

Many schools are shut across the West Country today as teachers go on strike.

It's part of a nationwide walk-out organised by the NUT, in a dispute over performance related pay, as well as pensions and conditions.

The Government says the strike's damaging for children's education and will be unpopular with parents.

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Union says teachers 'at the end of their tether'

The National Union of Teachers is staging a one-day national strike tomorrow which will affect schools across the South West. Some may be closed or only partially open.

The union says the strike is over the changes to teachers' pensions, performance-related pay and workload.

Andy Woolley, the South West Regional Secretary of the NUT, says many teachers are 'at the end of their tether':

£16.2 million funding announced for Devon schools

Schools in Devon are to get £16.2 million to address underfunding Credit: ITV News West Country

The Schools Minister has announced an extra £16.2 million in funding for schools in Devon. It means an increase of almost £200 per pupil in the authority, which is currently the sixth lowest-funded in the country.

A consultation document has also been published on a new way to make the allocation system fairer in future.

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