Government pledges £15m funding for new engineering institution

2 mins read

Universities Minister Jo Johnson (pictured) has announced funding of up to £15 million to support the establishment of a new higher education provider specialising in high-quality engineering courses.

The New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMiTE) aims to address the growing need for engineering talent in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and cyber-security.

NMiTE is taking a radical approach to training the next generation of engineers, including having a 50:50 gender balance target, six-12 month integrated work placements, and recruiting graduates from non-traditional backgrounds. It will also offer accelerated degrees, meaning students can complete their degrees in two years.

The funding, which relies on the project meeting a set of milestones and criteria, will be used to develop the faculty, campus and curriculum – creating a new institution. NMiTE will aim to increase the number of engineering graduates and professionals, helping to address a vital skills gap in the economy.

It will also work closely with University of Warwick and employers including QinetiQ and Heineken on the design of the curriculum, producing graduates who are ready for the demands of the job market.

Says Johnson: “New innovative higher education providers such as NMiTE will play an important part in educating the next generation of much-needed engineers, providing the skills and talent that employers need.

“Our reforms are about giving all young people access to university and an increasingly diverse market to choose from. This will ensure a steady stream of highly-skilled graduates into the workplace, meeting the needs of business and boosting the British economy.”

NMiTE will take its first cohort of students in September 2020, with development cohorts in 2018 and 2019. Some features include:

  • Hands-on project based learning with no lectures - classes will be delivered by teaching professors and practitioners
  • Courses co-created with employers, with mandatory work placements of six-12 months before graduation
  • Emphasis on enhancing pathways for women with a 50:50 gender balance target, boosting the number of female engineering graduates
  • An aim to support 25% of its student intake with bursaries and scholarships to support diversity and social mobility
  • A commitment to recruiting from non-traditional backgrounds

The government has also already set out a series of reforms to technical education, backed by an investment of more than £500 million, to ensure young people receive the training they need to take on the high-paid, high-skilled jobs of the future.

Adds founding president and chief executive Professor Janusz Kozinski: “With this terrific investment from the government we are now ready for lift-off. We will be totally reimagining and redesigning the higher education experience for the young people who will create Britain’s future.

“If Britain is to lead the next industrial revolution, driven by artificial intelligence, driverless cars and 4D printing, we need to educate young people to be pioneers and creators. We need to give them the confidence to think beyond their textbooks, the freedom to be daring, and the tenacity to turn ideas into new products, new companies and even entirely new industries. The future of higher education for engineers is arriving very soon, in Hereford.”

Image Credit: Parliament TV