University Campus will bring more than £3 million in first year

 
Fri 12 Jul 2013

University Campus Milton Keynes (UCMK) will boost the city's economy by more than £3 million pounds in its first year of operation, a figure which will steadily increase as student numbers grow.  Research shows that the more effectively the new institution meets the needs of business the better the financial return for the local economy. 

University Vice-Chancellor Bill Rammell outlined UCMK's importance to Milton Keynes future prosperity in a briefing to senior figures in the public and private sectors whom he told UCMK will meet "the skills needs of local business; furthering the city's international outlook and develop the next generation of the MK workforce."  He highlighted evidence indicating just how valuable a top level academic institution is to a growing, thriving city.  "Research from Strathclyde University demonstrates the economic multiplier of Universities, according to their region. In the East Midlands, the research shows that for every £1million of revenue into a University, East Midlands Universities generate a further £1.13 million for the region."
 
UCMK is a joint venture between University of Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Council to whom he paid tribute as a fine example of the "can do"
attitude of the city.  "I know of nowhere else where a local authority is matching a University's investment in delivering a new campus."  That joint investment already committed stands at £25 million.
 
Mr Rammell believes the opening of University Campus Milton Keynes will be a giant leap forward in the development from "New Town" to "Smart City."  He says it is a triumph of the cooperation between businesses, council, educationalists and other local stakeholders that UCMK has finally been achieved.  He grew up in another new town, Harlow in Essex, and believes he is well positioned to understand the problems associated with growth and development.  "It often comes as a surprise to those who don't know new towns, but we often have to break down barriers that have more in common with disadvantaged urban centres than they do with suburban or rural settings."  He pointed out that new towns were situated to take advantage of transport links to the "big" cities, but that their future prosperity will be based on being Smart Cities, fully equipped to meet the demands of the digital world.  He said that one of the most vital of those demands is educating young people to meet the needs of business.
 
Three of those young people already enrolled to be among UCMK's first students starting journalism courses in September were on hand to join the dignitaries on hard hat tours of their new facilities at Saxon Court which will include: three multi-purpose and flexible seating spaces for between 20 and 50 students; two specialist labs (electronics and telecommunications); a general purpose (20 seat) computing lab; a Learning Resources centre; Student social space and group study areas and a Continuing Professional Development Centre.
 
Mr Rammell said UCMK's global outlook will be key in achieving the shared goal of becoming a truly international city.  "Many of the students will come from overseas - attracted by the location and by the focus on engineering & technology.  It is exciting to be working with civic leaders who share my passion for an international approach to higher education - offering life-changing opportunities for UK and overseas students alike."
 
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