When you’ve a fear of heights, it’s best not to look down! However, for the team behind Herefordshire’s new university, with courage in our hearts and our sights set on the summit, looking back and realising how far we’ve climbed is far from frightening. At the end of a busy 2016, it’s heartening to reflect on our success and see how much closer we are to realising Herefordshire’s ambition for an independent, not-for-profit, university to bring much needed engineering talent to the region and the UK. And it’s a great moment to thank everyone who has contributed so generously to developing the New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMiTE) by giving support, advice, voluntary time or financial donations.
Reflecting on this time last year, I realise how much support for NMiTE has grown. Then, Herefordshire Tertiary Education Trust’s Founders’ Fund numbered under 60 businesses and individuals who had invested their hard-earned £5,000 in seed-funding the project. By the end of this year, we’ll have reached our target of 100 founders! Much thanks go to a final appeal led by The Hereford Times and High Sheriff Bill Jackson.
In 2016, we’ve marked significant milestones. September saw the announcement of our innovative approach to curriculum – our Accelerated Integrated Masters Liberal Engineering Degree, offered over three, 46-week years and with a focus on problem and project-based learning. With our architects we’ve continued developing the master plan for NMiTE’s city-centre campus, for which we’re now identified the first locations. We’ve secured commitment from a high-calibre Founding President and Chief Executive and early in the New Year, a newly-recruited Programme Director will open a Programme Management Office to begin delivering the university.
Finally, having completed the Treasury business plan process to access substantial Government launch funding, we’re in regular contact with various Government departments as we await the response.