New university will bring innovatory teaching methods

New university will bring innovatory teaching methods

Taken from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Dated 31.08.16

The university plans to start building its campus early next year and launch with its first cohort of 300 students in 2019

The UK’s first new ‘greenfield’ university to be built for 40 years will specialise in teaching engineering and technology, and is expected to be given the go-ahead in the government’s autumn statement.

The New Model in Technology and Engineering (Nmite) needs £20 million of government funding to build and launch the university in the city of Hereford. The university plans to start building its campus early next year, launch with its first cohort of 300 students in 2019 and grow to 5,000 students by 2029.

Nmite will offer master’s degrees in “liberal engineering” which students will be able to do in three years instead of four. The curriculum will be based around blocks instead of modules, which will integrate technical and non-engineering, liberal, components and seek to solve real-world problems in areas such as agri-engineering, advanced manufacturing, big data and sustainable living. The curriculum is being developed in partnership with Warwick University and Olin College in Massachusetts, and degrees will initially be awarded by Warwick. The new university will not have any lecture theatres, and will not require students to have maths and physics A-levels.

David Sheppard, co-project leader of Nmite, said: “We want students with grit, curiosity and passion.

“Most courses start with maths and physics and it can drain the passion out of engineering. Engineering is a process to solve problems, and maths and physics are tools to solve problems and do engineering. We need to put that into context.”

The group of volunteers behind Nmite has so far raised £650,000 for the project, with Heineken on board as a major sponsor after it recently donated £50,000. Nmite has already received around 150 applications from people wishing to teach at the university.

Herefordshire is one of only three counties in the UK that does not have any universities. The idea for NMite, said Sheppard, was devised in 2011 in response to the growing engineering industry skills gap.


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