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£15m more funding for ‘re-imagined’ engineering university

Amit Katwala

nmite projected image of university
nmite projected image of university

A new engineering university will open in Hereford in 2020, after the Department of Education announced £15m in seed funding.

Along with £8m provided earlier this year, it will be used to develop a physical and digital campus in the city centre, and build a team lecturers and professors. “We are now ready for lift-off,” said Janusz Kozinski, the founding president of the new institution, known as NMiTE (New Model in Technology and Engineering). “We will be totally reimagining and redesigning the higher education experience for the young people who will create Britain’s future. The future of higher education for engineers is arriving very soon, in Hereford.

NMiTE will be the UK's first newly built university in 40 years. It will take its first cohort of students in September 2020, with development cohorts in 2018 and 2019, and hopes to grow to 5000 students within a decade. It will feature hands-on project based learning instead of lectures, and courses will be co-created with employers across four interdisciplinary programmes: Feeding the World, Shaping the Future, Living Safely and Living Sustainably. 

Students will have to undergo a mandatory work placement of between six and 12 months before graduating. There will also be an emphasis on gender equality, with a target of having equal numbers of men and women enrolled.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said NMiTE would help educate a much-needed generation of new engineers. “Our reforms are about giving all young people access to university and an increasingly diverse market to choose from,” he said. “This will ensure a steady stream of highly-skilled graduates into the workplace, meeting the needs of business and boosting the British economy.”

Lizzie Crowley, Skills Policy Advisor at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development told Professional Engineering that the course would provide students with practical work experience that could be crucial in the job market. “Unemployment rates for STEM graduates are significantly higher than for other students,” she said.

She said that similar approaches already existed at the margins, but that the course would offer similar levels of hands-on work experience to an apprenticeship, while still providing the theoretical academic grounding that would allow graduates to explore a number of options in their careers. “This is the type of mix we would like to see more of,” she said. 

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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