HEREFORDSHIRE Council looks set to pledge £300,000 of public money to the development of the new university.
This Friday leader of the council, Tony Johnson, will recommend that the full council approve a loan to the New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMiTE).
In his role as cabinet member of corporate strategy and finance he said the money will continue to respond to the resolution passed by the council in 2014 to support the creation of a university for Herefordshire.
The money would be available to the Herefordshire Tertiary Education Trust, which is putting the business case together in order to access funding of around £18m from the government.
The loan would be repayable once government and/or private funding is secured.
The recommendation by Cllr Johnson is supported by a document highlighting the expected benefits of a university in the city, including up to 5,000 students adding to the county’s economy and the 500 well paid staff at the university raising average wages in the county.
The NMiTE project will be an independent university and will specialise in engineering.
Heineken, which owns Hereford-based Bulmers, has this week donated £50,000 to the development of the business case.
The donation is the first NMITE Corporate Partnership donation.
Alexander Brinkerink, cider plant manager for Heineken, said: “As a major employer in Hereford and across the UK, we are keen to help provide skills and opportunities for young people. After all, they could be the next generation of cider makers.”
The firm will also fund a three-year full fee scholarship from 2019.
David Sheppard, co-leader of the development team said they were delighted by the support from Heineken.
He added: “NMITE seeks to radically change the way engineering and related subjects are taught in Britain.
“Its aim is to help tackle the growing shortage of graduates who combine such degrees with the broad range of additional applied analytical thinking, innovation, interpersonal and leadership skills that employers seek.”
Co-project leader for the proposed university Karen Usher outlines how the admissions process will work in her column for this week’s Hereford Times.
She said the applicants will not necessarily need to have A Levels and said they will be accepting applications from people who have not chosen traditional academic pathways; for example, those who’ve completed apprenticeships or have relevant previous employment, including military service.
They plan to have a first intake of 80 students in September 2017.
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