MK:U will be a ‘new model’ university in the heart of Milton Keynes. The project is led by Cranfield University and Milton Keynes Council.
The new university is being developed in partnership with business in order to prepare students for the future world of work. Cranfield’s educational, technological and industrial partners on MK:U include Grant Thornton, MK College, Microsoft and Tech Mahindra. The university will be designed as an education institution for the 21st century, delivering a distinctive STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) undergraduate curriculum in key areas including digital, cyber, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence
The university is a key part of achieving Milton Keynes’ long-term vision, which envisages the city growing up to 500,000 people by 2050 and being at the heart of the Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford innovation corridor.
Sir Alan Wilson is Director, Special Projects at the Alan Turing Institute (where he was Chief Executive from 2016 until this September) and is Executive Chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute at the Nuffield Foundation. He is Chair of the Home Office Science Advisory Council and was previously chair of the Lead Expert Group for the Government Office for Science Foresight Project on The Future of Cities. He has previously been Director-General for Higher Education in the Department for Education and Skills and from 2007-2013 he was Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Sir Alan was previously an expert advisor to the MK Futures 2050 Commission.
Sir Alan Wilson, said: “I’m delighted to be asked to Chair the MK:U Steering Group. Milton Keynes is one of the fastest growing Smart Cities in the world and there is the really exciting potential for MK:U to support the city in its growth and development. The nature of higher education is changing and MK:U will be in the vanguard of that change, developing new educational models that meet the needs of business and of tomorrow’s students.”
Professor Lynette Ryals, MK:U Programme Director at Cranfield University, said: “MK:U is one of the most exciting and ambitious higher education projects in a generation. Sir Alan’s experience and knowledge will be a huge asset as we put together a strong steering group of influential stakeholders who will help us turn this extraordinary project into reality.”