New Peterborough university to include research ‘super hub’

The site of the planned university campus on the EmbankmentThe site of the planned university campus on the Embankment
The site of the planned university campus on the Embankment
Peterborough’s new university will include a new research ‘super hub’ to partner with businesses from across the world Metro Mayor James Palmer has announced.

Anglia Ruskin University has officially been named as the Higher Education partner for the planned University of Peterborough.
At an online launch ceremony today (Tuesday, July 14) Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CaPCA) Metro Mayor, James Palmer said: “Over the past twenty years Peterborough has enjoyed rapid economic and population growth and was ranked the fastest growing city in the UK between 2001 and 2011. It is a city of great opportunity and great ambition that business creation in Peterborough is 25% higher than the UK average.
“Its proximity to London and low land costs make it fertile ground for new and growing companies.

“It’s also a city of aspiration, ranked sixth in the UK in 2015 due to the number of patents registered here.

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“However, while businesses in Peterborough have expanded at break-neck speed and grown, it remains in the bottom ten areas in the country for educational skills and training.

“Currently only one in five 18-25-year olds in Peterborough are in full time adult education and one in every eight people in Peterborough aged 16-64 have no qualifications at all.

“As a result, local businesses struggle to recruit the staff they need and this has led to a suffocation of the overall prosperity of Peterborough and its surrounding areas.

“This new £30m University for Peterborough will breathe new life into the city and the region it will help to empower people with the skills and education that they need to find jobs and careers that will be fulfilling and rewarding and in turn create a new generation of a pipeline of skills workers to meet the needs of emerging markets so that businesses in Peterborough can truly flourish.

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“As leader of the Combined Authority, alongside Peterborough City Council have the pleasure to formally announce and welcome Anglia Ruskin University as the higher education partner for this new university which will be known, initially, as ‘ARU Peterborough’, until it becomes fully independent which is the ultimate goal and which is something that we are all working towards.

“It will be a first of its kind in the UK; ARU Peterborough will be an ‘employment focused’ university, a technical university with a curriculum that Anglia Ruskin University will help to deliver, designed to boost the skills of workers in key-employment sectors across the area.

“We have taken a great deal of care to look at the local economy and the needs of Peterborough’s economy before setting up this university.

“It is estimated that within a current workforce of around 100,000 the city needs to be able to mobilise around 17,000 more people with degrees to become competitive both locally and globally.

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“The university will be a huge step-forward in this regard, creating a ‘knowledge engine’ that will drive increased workforce skills to raise business productivity, innovation  and the knowledge intensity of products and services that we produce here.

“But, filling the higher education gap in Peterborough is only half the story – without measures to continue the growth of industrial demand for those skills it would put us in danger of producing more graduates without graduate jobs for them to fill.

“Which is why there is a longer-term plan for the university to generate more industry and more jobs within the city.

“Like all universities, the University of Peterborough will, in time, produce PhD students, generating new research and technology.

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“And that’s great because after all the UK is one of the most prolific generators of new academic and scientific discoveries in the world.

“Now we can translate all that great science and technologies to drop onto new products, that are better value for money than our competitors, generating growth for firms and higher value jobs for us.

“One of the key requirements for myself was that this university should be one of the most impactive.

“Therefore, to ensure maximum impact to deliver on the Prime Minister’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, we will build a teaching university out of ground on the embankment of the River Nene in Peterborough where not only local, but global firms will be able to design and scope a different and innovative eco-system around it.

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“There will be £20m worth of growth-coaching and growth-investment, a new local investment agency to connect into UK Embassy’s around the world, skills brokerage to connect those seeking new and better jobs.

“The centre-piece of all of this will be a ‘research super-hub’ to act as a key connection between the university and local business for innovation-based growth.

“We are talking to several global technology firms and half a dozen other universities to potentially create something very special here – a research super-hub which combines this university with several others to create multiple research teams working with local and global firms across materials, manufacturing, digital and environmental disciplines to create the products of tomorrow and the new high-value jobs that graduates of this innovative new university of Peterborough deserve.

“This employment-based university and the innovation eco-system that we will build around it will meet the demands of businesses in the short-term and over the longer-term, driving technological innovation that will transform knowledge-intensity of products, services and jobs in this city.

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“This is not a university where you go to simply get a degree. This where you will come to get a career. All this will drastically improve the life-prospects of people in the city of Peterborough and across the region, enhancing as it does the reputation of ‘GB plc’.”

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