I was given a briefing last week by Cranfield University who have been working in partnership with Milton Keynes Council to develop a vision of what MK’s first university could look like.
The idea has been developed following the MK Futures 2050 Commission report. This identified a new university as one of the city’s main six projects to be delivered over the coming decades. Named MK:IT, the report says it would: “Provide lifelong learning opportunities at a new university to promote research, teaching and practice which provide realistic solutions to the problems facing fast-growing cities everywhere.” The early stage of the project has seen a potential name change to MK:U.
What I am most impressed about is the focus on economic growth in Milton Keynes and across the region. Naturally there will be more jobs and more opportunities just by having a university but the actual academic offer will include strong relationships with our business community, especially in areas like Smart Cities.”
The emerging business plan for the MK:U states there will be five faculties; Business, Applied Creativity & Innovation, Digital, Smart Cities, Technology & Engineering. The University will offer two or three year degree courses with project work.
It is also expected that the project would create 918 jobs directly and 1074 indirect jobs from now until the ambitious target of the first students being on campus in 2023.