Cranfield University, Milton Keynes Council and the Milton Keynes Development Partnership have reaffirmed their ongoing commitment to delivering MK:U, a planned new university for Milton Keynes.
At a meeting on 1 March 2022, Milton Keynes Council opted to extend the terms of the existing agreement with Cranfield University, demonstrating local aspirations to develop the project.
Already, degree apprentices have begun studying with MK:U, with the first cohort starting in October 2021. Students are taking courses in Chartered Manager, Digital and Technology Solutions and Data Science, including ‘closed’ courses specifically for apprentices from Santander and BAE Systems.
MK:U has a vital role in developing skills
Professor Lynette Ryals, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University and Chief Executive of MK:U said:
“The local, regional and national need for MK:U has not gone away. Although we were unsuccessful in securing government funding in the Autumn Budget for a large new building project that would have accelerated our growth, MK:U is very much still happening. We have a lot of local support from businesses and our partners. Already, teaching is underway, and we are seeing students reaping the benefits of our industry-focused courses, developing digital and technological skills that industry so desperately needs.
“I’m delighted that Milton Keynes Council has reaffirmed its commitment to MK:U. MK:U has a huge role to play in helping the UK recover and rebuild after Covid, and in offering a distinctive higher education approach in Milton Keynes.”
Pivotal project for Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes Council, Cranfield University and Milton Keynes Development Partnership are set to explore alternative delivery approaches for the MK:U project over the coming months.
Deputy Leader of MK Council, Cllr Robin Bradburn said:
“MK:U will be a world-class university that equips students with the skills and knowledge needed for future jobs. The benefits extend well beyond Milton Keynes and the university will help us compete on the international stage.
“Good progress has been made so far with degree apprenticeships already underway. We remain absolutely committed to delivering the full project with a state-of-the-art campus and will continue working hard with partners to make our vision for MK:U a reality.”
MK:U is based at Bouverie House in Central Milton Keynes and is opening a new Innovation Hub this month to support local businesses and foster innovation. The space includes a podcasting studio, professional photography studio, flexible workspaces and a design lab with 3D printing facilities. The physical workspaces and labs can be used by companies in the area to develop their businesses, products and marketing.