University strengthens its partnership with Milton Keynes

Mon 11 Nov 2013

The University of Bedfordshire’s commitment to deliver higher education courses in Milton Keynes was reinforced at graduation ceremonies that took place in the city last Friday (1 Nov).   

Nearly 150 students received awards from courses provided by the University of Bedfordshire through partner colleges during two ceremonies at Christ the Cornerstone Church  – just two months after University Campus Milton Keynes (UCMK) opened its doors to its first ever students.  

The leader of Milton Keynes Council, Councillor Andrew Geary, was Guest of Honour at the graduations, which also saw MK Dons Chairman Pete Winkelman awarded an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the life and community of Milton Keynes.
The occasion not only celebrated the achievements of the graduating students, but also the success of the partnership between the University and Milton Keynes Council, who have worked together to establish UCMK.

“I know of nowhere else where a local authority is matching a University’s investment in delivering a new campus,” said Bill Rammell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, in his remarks to the graduands and their families and friends. 

“The University and the Council are writing a new chapter for Milton Keynes.  We are creating and growing a university campus that suits, ideally, this city’s commitment to growth, to innovation, to ambition and to partnership,” he added.

Councillor Geary warmly welcomed the Milton Keynes Council’s partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, which led to the creation of UCMK, adding that he looked forward to the campus developing quickly and receiving a growing number of students, both local and international.

Bill Rammell highlighted a second partnership between the University and Council, who will be working alongside other academic and business partners to deliver a major £16 million project, called MK:SMART.  The venture will enable Milton Keynes to develop innovative ways to manage its key infrastructure and help drive economic growth.

At the centre of the project will be the leading-edge MK Data Hub, which will collate information from a host of sources such as energy, transport and water together with satellite, social and economic data.  As well as hosting the MK Data Hub, UCMK will be central to a programme of engagement that will ensure take-up by local businesses of the capability developed by the MK:SMART project.

The Vice Chancellor also highlighted the University’s lead sponsorship of seven of MK Dons’ Academy teams and its sponsorship agreements with both Milton Keynes Theatre and Milton Keynes Orchestra as further signs of how the University, and UCMK, is strengthening its partnership with the Milton Keynes community.

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