• Pioneer Cohort of 50 learners will join in March 2021 with first year fully funded by partners
  • AcceleratedMaster’s degree in Integrated Engineeringdesigned to prepare graduates with high quality, work-ready skills in just three years
  • Institution believes that challenges facing the world do not fall into traditional mechanical, electrical or material engineering boxes
  • Traditional A level qualifications in Maths and Physics not required: students will learn these subjects as part of the course
  • Long term goal to be educating morethan 5,000 engineering students

Today,1 December 2020, NMITE (New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering)announces that itisopen for businessand is inviting applicationsto fill50places in its Pioneer Cohortwhowill be the first graduates of NMITE’sMaster’s Degree in Integrated Engineering in justoverthreeyears’ time.Successful applicants will have their academic fees and accommodation costscovered in full for their first year thanks to a host ofPioneer Funderswho, with other partners, have together provided a valuable contribution and investment in NMITE’s future success.The news comesas the institutionhas receivedvalidationby The Open University(OU)which enables it to start student recruitment.

Commenting on the news, Minister of State for Universities, MichelleDonelan, MP, said: “This government is committed to providing graduates with opportunities to develop their skillsets and embark on successful careers, and I congratulate NMITE in launching an innovative model of high-level engineering education. This programme will not only provide valuable experience for graduates, but will help to boost growth in engineering, drive innovation and build the vital skills this country needs.”

NMITEexists to address the UK’s shortage of work-ready graduate engineersandwillfocus onanintegrated engineering programmetotrain and nurturelearnersready to tackleglobalchallenges-such as sustainable food production, access to safe water, and clean energy-whichdo not fall neatly into traditional mechanical, electrical or materials engineering boxes.NMITE believes that engineering is an exciting and varied career path, its students will learn what an engineer does and how she or he can make life better and plans to develop graduates who will make a positive impact on quality of life, the environment and industry.

Toattract students from a variety of backgrounds and at differing life stages,NMITE will consider every application individually and irrespectiveofthe path they have travelled to get where they are today.Engineers-in-training will experience NMITE’s “learning by doing” with regular real-life projects and no lectures or traditional exams and unlike other engineering institutionsthey will not be requiredtohave a Maths or Physics A-levelas these subjects will be taught within the curriculum.NMITE explains that they are looking for entrepreneurial andsocially-mindedindividuals who want to change the world for the better. As part of the admissions process, NMITE will be evaluating a person’s attitude, mindset and passion for engineering alongside their qualifications.

ProfessorElena Rodriguez-Falcon, President & Chief Executive of NMITE comments on the news:“Weare delighted to announce that NMITE is now open and ready to recruit itsPioneer Cohortof learners.Thank you to everyone who has played a part in getting us to todayincludingthose who had theinspirational visionand tenacityto pushforwards, all my colleagues, funders and industry partners whohaveshared this visionand supported us. Our attention now turns to the exciting task ofinviting applications and meeting prospective learners.What 2020hasshown more than ever is thatweneed more work-ready engineers,and we aredelightedthat NMITE will be playing a role ineducatingengineers equipped to tackle global challenges.”

NMITE Chairman Dame Fiona Kendrick said: “On behalf of the NMITE Board of Trustees, I am delighted to celebrate this news.  Like many of the Trustees, I have been involved with NMITE for many years and it is therefore especially exciting to see how the original, innovative vision we had for NMITE and for Herefordshire has come to fruition.  This vision is even more relevant today than ever before as the need for work-ready engineers to help drive UK productivity is obvious to us all.  It is truly remarkable what has been built from a small gem of an idea to the NMITE that opens its doors to applications today.  It has been an extraordinary journey so far and we look forward to 2021 and beyond with huge enthusiasm and optimism.” 

Professor Josie Fraser, Deputy Vice Chancellor, The Open University, the UK’slargest academic institution and a world leader in flexible distance learning,said:“The Open University (OU) is delighted to join forces with NMITE to help educate the engineers of the future with this new and innovative pathway.The OU, through the invaluable work of its Validation Partnerships team, collaborates with over 40 partners in the UK and abroad, and validates nearly 400 programmes across a number of different levels and subject areas. With nearly 7000 awards conferred in 2019/20 alone, we believe that this new partnership is a positive move to further broaden our scope into a much-needed area.”

The Rt HonJesse NormanMPfor Hereford and South Herefordshirewho originally conceived the idea of a new, higher educationoffering in Hereford, said“I am thrilled that NMITE is about to open its doors for the firsttime, and I congratulate Elena, her team and everyone who has joinedus along the way to make this possible. This is a transformativemoment for our county and for our city.  Eight hundred years agoHereford was one of the great centres in Europe for mathematics andastronomy, and 800 years later we are opening NMITE to specialise intechnology and engineering.But NMITE has huge implications not only for Herefordshire, but forthe Marches and for the UK itself, as a new model of regeneration anddevelopment. What a fantastic future we have in front of us:  a futureof prosperity for everyone, a future for our young people, a futurewhich lifts the county socially, culturally and economically.”

Mandy Thorn, chair of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership which has provided £10 million funding for NMITE to date, said she was delighted with the news of its validation. “This is really wonderful news and a major step forward for what is a hugely important and innovative project. NMITE will play a vital role in developing the skills the Marches region needs to thrive in the post-Covidworld and play a transformative role in shaping our economy for many years to come. Its role in providing high-level engineering and technology skills will help create the high-value jobs which will drive prosperity across the whole of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, and act as a beacon to attract still further investment in the region. I can think of no better ambition than to provide our youngsters with the very best education and training we can in this fast-changing world and am delighted that NMITE has been recognised for the truly pioneering work it is doing in our region.”

CllrDavidHitchiner, Leader of Herefordshire Council said:“I am delighted to hear this news from NMITE. This is great news for NMITE, for Herefordshire Council and the people of Herefordshire.A huge thank you to all those who have been involved over the past ten years enabling so much to be achieved and reaching this stage.I look forward to joining NMITE in welcoming the first cohort of students who will join in early 2021, and the thousands who will follow.”

KarenUsher,Founding Trusteeand one of the original teamwho pushed ahead with the idea“It’s fantastic to see NMITE preparing to open its doors.  The new generation of engineers who will pass through those doors will be creative, challenge ready, problem solvers and the sky will not be their limit.”

NMITEhas today also releasedmore information about its buildings and interiors to matchitsnew pedagogical model,provided detail on itsMEng in Integrated Engineering and confirmed some of its industry partners and funders including thePioneer Fund which will cover thePioneerCohort’s academic and accommodation fees in full for the first year of study.News release ends –

Further messages of support andcongratulationshave also been receivedfromindividuals who were close advisors and supporters and who played pivotal roles in the creation of the NMITE distinctive approach:

Richard Miller, President Emeritus and current Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Olin College of Engineering was first introduced to Karen Usher by Nigel Thrift, then Vice Chancellor of Warwick University. In the months and years that followed, a number of Olin faculty members visited Hereford, and the Hereford team visited Olin on several occasions to learn from and prepare for the launch of NMITE. “I believe that NMITE is a very important new institution in the UK, one that can take a fresh look at the role of higher education and the methodologies for teaching and learning in the STEM field and develop a model or prototype that others can follow. The quality of the people at NMITE is exceptional, and the early indications are excellent that NMITE will, indeed, evolve a very different and potentially game-changing approach to STEM education at a time when it is very important to do so. In this COVID world, we need innovative new approaches to science and technology that are capable of producing innovators who envision what has never been, and then do whatever it takes to make a better world.”

Sir John Hood, former Vice-Chancellor, the University of Oxford:”I congratulate the founders and leadership of NMITE on the granting of the institution’s formal validation and accreditation.  At this time, when the country has a distinct shortage of engineering and technology skills, NMITE presents a visionary addition to the institutional milieu.  Creatively engaging a wide spectrum of industry and business representatives alongside the academic staff in the education and training of the students has been designed to produce highly skilled and attractively qualified graduates fit for the nation’s future workforce.I wish the institution, along with its wider communities of interest, every success as it develops and matures.”

Sir Nigel Thrift,Chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management:“NMITE is one of the only truly innovative institutions in the British higher education sector. Validation is the next step on the road to success. Many people have put their backs into achieving this really important milestone, one that shows yet again that NMITE not only leads the way but leads it with style! Manycongratulations! Onwards and upwards.”