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MK College at heart of plans for new university in Milton Keynes

Thu 22 Mar 2018 - posted by MK College

Milton Keynes College has been named as a key education partner in a group with plans to open a university in Milton Keynes. 

Led by Cranfield University, the group also includes Grant Thornton, Microsoft, Santander, Aston University and Tech Mahindra.

Currently known as MK:U, the university will be developed in partnership with business, making sure graduates are ready for the workplaces of the future.  Around 5,000 students are expected to study there with the first arriving in 2023. 

Undergraduates will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in crucial disciplines including digital, cyber, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence. The announcement comes just two weeks after the College revealed its intentions to bid for government money to open an Institute of Digital Technology at Bletchley Park.  Cranfield and Microsoft are also members of the group behind that scheme.

With the College also planning to bring its current three campuses under one roof in the centre of the city, Principal & CEO, Dr Julie Mills, says Milton Keynes could become a highly coordinated centre for teaching some of the skills essential to business in the twenty-first century. 

She says, “In a very few years one could imagine young people going from local schools, to the College, taking their first degrees at MK:U and going on to postgraduate study at Cranfield.  Evidence suggests more and more students are going to university closer to home to avoid excessive loan debt, and having the chance to go through the whole educational experience without leaving home could make university affordable for some where before it was out of reach.”

Dr Mills continued, “Central to our role will be to make sure that our learners are being taught the things they need to know to make ideal undergraduate candidates for the new university, so that when they get there they will already have the skills and knowledge to hit the ground running on their new courses.”

The group is determined to make MK:U as inclusive as possible to promote genuine social mobility.  The curriculum is still under development but some of the courses on offer will be very different from those available at many universities today, including accelerated two-year degrees, intensive three-year degrees with project placements, part-time/apprenticeship pathways and short courses/continued professional development.  The plans have the backing of Milton Keynes Council and the next step will be an eighteen month feasibility study, which will consider the planning, design and financing of the new university. A competition is to be launched inviting architects from all over the world to come up with an iconic design for the new campus.

For more information contact: Simon Garrett – Virtubrands PR:
01908 382848/07974 566043 – simon@virtubrands.com