Stay on and help shape Leeds' future, students are urged


The University is taking part in an initiative aimed at encouraging students to stay on in Leeds after graduation, to help shape its future.

It is in the top ten universities targeted in the country by leading employers across the UK, but the University of Leeds is also conscious of helping to retain talented students to drive forward social, cultural and economic development here in the region.

In Leeds Day, taking place today, links students from the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University with some of the city’s key employers:  Charlton Morris, the Department for Work & Pensions, FDM, East Street Arts, KPMG, Leeds City Council, NHS Digital, Opera North, PwC, Sagar Wright, Teach First, and The Tetley.

The day will kick off with a breakfast meeting at Opera North where students will be set a challenge – to describe one low cost action that can be put in place to attract and retain talent and help raise the profile of Leeds as a city of opportunity.

After a welcome from University of Leeds’ Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, Professor Tom Ward, and Matt Wilton, Head of Employment, Access and Growth at Leeds City Council, participants will receive a briefing from business leaders and meet their teams and business mentors.

After visiting employer offices throughout the day, the students will regroup at PwC to give their presentations in answer to the day's challenge.

Robert Partridge, Director of Student Opportunity at the University of Leeds, said: "In Leeds Day is an opportunity for students to enhance their presentation and networking skills, meet some fantastic employers and get a better understanding of the tremendous career opportunities on their doorstep.

“We will also be asking them to think about how we can make Leeds an even better place to live and work in the future.”

Nicola Dandridge is Chief Executive of Universities UK, the representative organisation for the country's universities. She said: “In Leeds Day addresses a key concern that many local employers have, and that’s the ability to ensure talented graduates stay in the area once they leave university and contribute to the area where they’ve lived for the past few years.

“Universities want to work with local employers to ensure that what they deliver on campus meets the needs of the local area. This initiative is a great example of the sort of activities the government should be supporting in its Industrial Strategy.

“The fact that businesses in Leeds have come together to work with universities on this project demonstrates the importance placed on graduates in contributing to innovation, creativity and prosperity for the local area.”

Priscilla Preston, Director of Services for Students at Leeds Beckett University, said: “Leeds is a vibrant city with a strong economy, brimming full of opportunities for our students and graduates. 

“This event offers students an opportunity to explore what the city can offer and the chance to network with some of the region’s biggest employers.  Our graduate talent here in Leeds is one of the things that not only makes the city a great place to live and work but also enables our local and regional economy to flourish.”

Professor Ray Lloyd, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said: “We’re delighted to partner with the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University to offer our students the opportunity to visit some of the city’s biggest employers, discuss ways to retain graduates in Leeds and discover what makes our city one of the fastest growing and most popular cities for business in the UK.”

The idea for the day grew out of the Leeds to New York Student Leadership programme, which saw a group of University of Leeds students travel to the US last June. After connecting with leading academics and business leaders in Leeds, in America they connected with New York-based Leeds alumni to investigate a specific challenge as part of the programme: what makes a city smart? The students focused on key leadership challenges faced by businesses and communities in both cities, developing communication and networking skills.

Further information

For interviews or to find out more, contact University of Leeds Media Relations Officer Prue Griffiths via or 0113 343 4360.