New university will focus on the technology of the future

Published:  13 April, 2018

A ‘new model’ university in Milton Keynes would focus on teaching the technology of the future world of work, leading in areas including digital, cyber, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Developed in partnership with business, the new university would be an educational institution for the 21st century, delivering a distinctive STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) undergraduate curriculum.

Plans for the new university – currently known as MK:U – have been in development since late last year, but took a big step forward recently, with the announcement that Milton Keynes Council has chosen Cranfield University as the lead higher education provider.

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, chief executive and vice-chancellor of Cranfield University, said: “We look forward to working closely with Milton Keynes Council to create a smart university for a smart city. Cranfield is one of the UK’s most business-engaged universities and we already have strong links with Milton Keynes. I am delighted that, together with our partners, we will be helping to deliver the exciting vision of a new university for the city.”

Building a university in the heart of the city is a key part of achieving Milton Keynes’ long-term vision, which envisages the city growing to accommodate up to 500,000 people by 2050 and involves being at the heart of the Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford innovation corridor.

Councillor Peter Marland, leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: “For a long time, we’ve held aspirations for a bricks and mortar university in MK to attract talented young people and for local students to attend, and this is a significant step towards the creation of MK:U. Through the MK Futures 2050 process, we identified how a university focused on technology could benefit our economy, especially coming alongside the development of the Cambridge-MK-Oxford corridor which also holds great promise. This will be the first university anywhere designed as a response to the challenges facing cities today and in the future. We’re delighted to be entering this next chapter with Cranfield University.”

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