Here in Herefordshire we are developing the UK’s first 21st Century university to develop a new generation of highly employable 21st Century engineers.
But there we have it, the very word university brings with it thousands of years of history and preconceived ideas. While some of these help to position the modern, not-for-profit, higher education institution we are seeking to establish, others have the opposite effect.
Therefore, the theme of my next articles will be to show just how different Herefordshire’s new university (www.NMiTE.org.uk) is daring to be so that we can truly make a difference – to Herefordshire’s economy; to UK engineering businesses; to the UK’s supply of engineering graduates; to the way engineering is taught.
We’re not saying that there’s no innovation in UK universities today, just that it can be a slow and unwieldy process trying to change established approaches from within. Meanwhile, globally, engineering education is innovating at a pace. In the UK, now more than ever, there’s a need for urgent and rapid innovation; here in Herefordshire, it’s the right time, the right place, we have the right team and we are set on developing the right model, establishing new approaches to governance, funding, curriculum development, operating, teaching, admissions and more.
The biggest difference will be the knowledge, skills and employability of our graduates and their ability to succeed in today’s competitive business environment. To achieve this requires us to adopt a different structure, set up to more closely represent the world we’re trying to prepare students for – efficient, business-like, lean, sustainable, linked to and serving its community, delivering the absolute best quality in everything it does. There’s more about this next month and in the coming months there will be much more about what makes us different from other universities – watch this space!
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