Carer World notes

 New university to sow the seeds for tomorrow's skilled workers  HT 10 April 2014 p 45

COUNTY companies could be the first to benefit from courses offered by the proposed University of Hereford.

Project leader Karen Usher outlines how it will work with and for those companies.

Manufacturing in 2050, according to the Government Office for Science, will look very different from today and will be virtually unrecognisable from that of 30 years ago.

Successful firms will be capable of adapting their physical and intellectual infrastructures to exploit changes as manufacturing becomes faster, more personalised and more responsive to changing global markets.

Successful companies will also harness a wider interdisciplinary social and science skills base with highly qualified employees and managers whose expertise combines both commercial and technical acumen, typically in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

The new university will open its doors in 2017 with some specialist courses planned for as soon as autumn 2015. It is being designed to help Herefordshire's engineering and technical businesses meet those challenges, and will be focused on applied engineering, applied science, and the technologies of sustainability.

It plans to prepare work-ready, high performers for Herefordshire and for global markets. The university is being designed to supply graduates skilled in applying modern science and engineering knowledge.

The core focus will be business sectors vital to Herefordshire's economy notably defence and security, agri science, food science, specialist technical design, advanced manufacturing and green technologies.

As a liberal sciences university, the intent is to deliver future employees and managers with an entrepreneurial flair for business; a toolkit of innovative interdisciplinary problem solving skills; a profound understanding of how humans behave and an ability to communicate across cultures.

First year students will follow a general sciences course and be introduced to the tools and methodologies from a wide range of science and engineering disciplines.

All students, from the first year onwards, will be required to solve' real-world problems provided by the university's local and national business partners. This approach will mean students will have a high volume of contact time with tutors because much of the teaching will be "experiential". 

Front and centre to this will be the employability and work readiness of the graduates. This will be achieved by a mandatory cross-curriculum in human interaction that platforms each student with a fundamental understanding of the social and ethical context of their core studies; critical thinking, problem solving, innovation, entrepreneurship and analytical skills; the ability to communicate persuasively at all levels, across all cultures and work readiness skills that support rapid productivity.

In addition all students will be required to complete a minimum six-month work placement integrated into their learning programme.

It will primarily be a teaching,, university and will reward the faculty for quality teaching rather than research, creating a culture where lateral thinking and innovation is rewarded and applauded and where collaboration rather than competition is celebrated. Our success will be measured by the number of employers which return, year on year, to recruit our graduates, and notwithstanding the primacy of teaching, applied research will be essential to the operation.

Stephen Constance's letter of 9 April makes sense in the economic climate but, judging from the website devoted to "A New University for Hereford" (NUH), his opening remark on the "Shire" aspect of the situation seems irrelevant.  His economic-based comments, however, while being relevant, need a more in-depth treatment as seen on NUH.

Readers need not look for the website as they will find it and lots of supporting information via and then via the Updates page.
Both websites are clear concerning where the money will come from.  NUH is clear in its mission and how/when that will be achieved.  It doesn't hide its head in the sand and deals with the various negative issues relating to our County.  
NUH focuses on Mr Constance's "doers".  The matter of  students going on to "jobs which have nothing to do with the degree they have obtained" is dealt with on the website.  
It asks questions like " What is the purpose of higher education in the 21st century?" and gives answers - " Universities are an integral part of the supply chain to business—a supply chain that has the capability to support business growth and therefore economic prosperity."
It is forward-looking to the extent of  ". . in 2050, businesses will look very different from today, and will be virtually unrecognisable from those of thirty years ago. Successful organisations will be capable of adapting their operational and intellectual infrastructures as their businesses, customers and markets evolve."  Just what our County needs - education for success!
We are informed that " The New University will be working in close collaboration with Herefordshire College of Arts, Hereford & Ludlow College, and the Royal National College for the Blind to ensure that Herefordshire is recognized as a national centre of excellence in education."
One of my pages looks at the innovative Hereford & Ludlow College which is already developing the pathway for those in Further Education to make the transition to Higher Education. Similar organisations will follow.
Lastly, for the moment, readers of my website will find out about " The placement of higher education as a key catalyst in Herefordshire Council’s economic regeneration plans" in small bites.
There's an abundance of difficult questions to be asked and answered concerning a new University for Hereford.  Through the auspices of Hereford Times and Hereford Journal, and working together, we'll find answers which guide our aspirant undergraduates to a tailor-made university on their doorstep.

Alan F Harrison (Prof, ret'd)
Ross-on-Wye              or  then Updates