Hampton Ward Newsletter, November 2017
Some really good news for Herefordshire was announced last week and I apologise for spreading information you may already be aware of.
We have just been granted £15m to support the funding of a new university in Hereford, specialising in high-quality engineering courses. This is a great result and rewards all the hard work that’s been carried out behind the scenes by council officers and cabinet members.
The New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMiTE) aims to become the first new ‘greenfield’ university to be built in the UK for 30 years and will address the skills gap in the economy and the growing need for engineering talent in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and cyber security.
The only draw-back, in my opinion, is the dreadful name given to this exciting project. Maybe someone can come up with a more suitable title to reflect this 21st century facility.
NMiTE is taking a radical approach to training the next generation of engineers with a 50/50 gender balance target to help boost the number of female engineers, mandatory integrated work placements of between 6 and 12 months and to recruit students from non-traditional backgrounds, with a further aim to support 25% of the student intake with bursaries and scholarships to help support diversity and social mobility. Accelerated degree courses will also be available to allow students to complete their degrees in two years.
The new university will work closely with the university of Warwick and with businesses and potential large employers, to design a new curriculum to produce graduates who will be ready and better equipped to meet the demands of the modern job market. NMiTE aims to gain national significance as a centre of excellence which will benefit other local educational institutions.
Herefordshire has always been a cold-spot for higher education provision, leading to a brain-drain of 18-24 year olds who generally have no other option than to leave the area and study at universities elsewhere in the UK.
Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, has been calling for a university in the city since 2009. He said, “this may well be the most significant development for Herefordshire since they built the cathedral. Economically, socially, demographically, I believe it will be transformative for tech and engineering education in the UK”.
Cllr Bruce Baker