Why a new university is just what Hereford needs

The recent announcement of £15million in Government funding means the team behind Hereford’s new University can begin planning in earnest to welcome its first students in September 2020. The New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMiTE) will have a hugely positive impact on the city and is being welcomed by residents and the business community alike.

Frankly I’m ecstatic about NMiTE and could fill pages and pages with reasons why I love the concept and why I think it will transform our city but here, for the sake of the reader, I’ve listed my top four.

Skills Shortages

Those who know me will not be surprised to see this as my number one reason to welcome the University. Like many employers, I am often frustrated by the relatively small pool of talented candidates in Herefordshire. Our sparse population and somewhat isolated geographical location are key factors but the fact that an estimated 1,800 young people leave the county for higher education and graduate jobs compounds the situation.

Whilst the University will be a particular blessing for engineering and technology businesses, all employers will benefit. A general upskilling of the workforce and an improved economic outlook will make the county more attractive for qualified and ambitious people in a range of fields. Those relocating to work at the University will also be bringing their families with them. Personally, I’m hoping to see some experienced accountants and tax specialists amongst them.

Something Different

NMiTE promise “a unique, powerful, problem solving and experiential approach to the teaching of engineering”. How exciting is that? What’s more, NMiTE courses will be designed with employability in mind balancing a high level technical education with workplace skills, including 6-12 month compulsory work placements. That’s music to the ears of anyone who has hired a graduate with no concept of the world of work.

Access to All

As well as taking a new approach to education, NMiTE is looking beyond the conventional routes to higher education in its search for the best students. The University will look to recruit from non-traditional backgrounds such as high-level apprentices and armed service leavers. It is also committed to a 50:50 gender target and will look to support 25% of its students with bursaries and scholarships. Well done NMiTE for tackling some of the social and economic barriers in higher education.


There is a buzz of anticipation around the city following Jo Johnson’s funding announcement which will intensify with every step towards establishing NMiTE. Hereford is a wonderful city but the University will bring a new vibrancy which will enrich all areas of the community.

Bring it on.