New NMiTE uni to help solve UK engineer shortage

It’s been confirmed that the Hereford-based New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMiTE), Britain’s first new “greenfield” university in 40 years, has received £8m of start-up funding from the government.

The New Model in Technology & Engineering (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, pioneering radical teaching methods in an attempt to tackle the UK’s chronic shortage of professional engineers.

The new university concept was unveiled in 2015 with the support of engineers, leading universities, business people and politicians.

Government support will ultimately provide about a third of the £73m NMiTE 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

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.”

“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.”

According to the pair, crucial to the successful bid was a partnership with Herefordshire Council and collaboration with many stakeholders. A collaboration expected to strengthen and deepen as Hereford’s new university develops over the next 15 years.

They added: “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.”

Leader of Herefordshire Council, Councillor Tony Johnson commented: “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.”