| 13 March 2017
The New Model in Technology & Engineering (www.nmite.org.uk), Britain’s first new “greenfield” university in 40 years, has received confirmation of £8 million of start-up funding from the Government. This is the first of two requests for government funding, which together ensure this ground-breaking project will now become a reality.
NMITE aims to open its doors in September 2019 to the first 300 students at a purpose-built city centre campus in Hereford. It intends to be educating more than 5,000 students by 2032. Its new university concept was launched in 2015 with the support of engineers, leading universities, businesspeople and politicians.
Britain has an estimated shortfall of 40,000 engineering graduates, and closing this gap is essential if the country is to have the high-value skills needed for a successful modern economy.
David Sheppard and Karen Usher, the project’s co-leaders, said: “Today marks the start of a dramatic change in the way the country deals with its shortfall of graduate engineers and also begins the transformation of Herefordshire’s economy.”
Jesse Norman MP, who first called for a new university in Herefordshire in 2009 and who has championed the project as Minister of Energy and Industry said, "This is an historic moment for Herefordshire. It will be the most significant change to the county since the construction of Hereford Cathedral in medieval times."
David Sheppard and Karen Usher added: “NMiTE will change radically the way engineering is taught in Britain. We will also be very inclusive, providing opportunities for those high achievers who did not take maths A Level, a requirement that particularly inhibits women. In addition, we will provide pathways to engineering degrees, such advanced apprentices and the many experienced technicians and engineers in the services.
“The key to our successful bid has been the partnership with Herefordshire Council and collaboration with many stakeholders. That collaboration will strengthen and deepen as Hereford’s new university develops over the next 15 years. This public-sector support is matched by the already strong financial commitment from local engineering businesses and large organisations such as Cargill and Heineken. Many other major national engineering businesses are keen to be involved and have pledged their support contingent on this strong financial backing from the government.”
Government support will ultimately provide about a third of the £73 million project and will be used to:
- Design and build the initial campus in Hereford City and Enterprise Zone
- Create the new institution, hire the senior leadership and management
- Hire the faculty and other staff to create and teach the degree programme
- Recruit students and industry partners
Councillor Tony Johnson Leader of Herefordshire Council welcomed the news, saying: “We’re delighted to have been awarded substantial government funding for NMiTE, it’s clear recognition of what our county’s proposed university can offer locally, regionally and nationally. The new university will have a game-changing impact on Herefordshire, as we will welcome up to 5,000 students to the county over the next decade or so. This will have a positive economic impact on the county, particularly due to the investment in teaching and administration facilities.”
Professor Stuart Croft Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick, which is supporting the new university, said: “The University of Warwick congratulates our colleagues developing the New Model in Technology & Engineering in Hereford, on the announcement of government financial support for their project today.
“Warwick is delighted to be able to continue to advise, and assist, the New Model in Technology & Engineering in Hereford as it develops its innovative degree level engineering teaching provision as a visionary, and thoughtful, new entrant to the higher education sector. The UK needs many more people with engineering skills at all levels and the University of Warwick is pleased to be a partner in a range of initiatives, such as this, that will help meet that need by encouraging more young people to enter engineering.”