On the other hand, universities use these relationships as a way to attract master's students. For example, the data science school at City University of London states: "When it comes to the big data and data science area, we have established relationships with organisations including the BBC, Microsoft and The British Library so you can be confident that with City, your access to professional experience is unparalleled."
The University of Lancaster's data science institute website lists nearly 40 industry partners that students can access. The website looks to attract new partners by promising "access [to] skills in data mining, programming, statistical modelling, statistical inference" and the ability to "gain an early view of talented data science professionals".
It certainly looks like closer relations between academia and business can bring huge benefits for universities in terms of funding future research and for students looking to boost their job prospects.
The only concern will be if the relationship gets too cosy and academics lose their all-important scope to come at problems in a broader sense than simply solving a business problem.
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