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Search unveiled for 75 ambitious young adults for a real life "Sim City" gap year creating Hereford's future university

nmite 290618 1Reflecting its radical approach, a search for up to 75 ambitious young adults has been launched by NMiTE (, the future engineering university being created in Hereford, to spend their gap year creating the country's most innovative student experience.

It is open to anyone aged 18 or over who is currently planning a gap year before university or after graduating (not necessarily in engineering). They will be helping co-create everything from the facilities to the student experience of the first new university in Britain for over 40 years.  

Professor Helen Rogers, the Design Cohort lead at NMiTE, said: "NMiTE is effectively offering 75 young adults the unique opportunity to play Sim City in real life, with university facilities being designed and built around them based on their ideas, research and input.   We are looking for the brightest, most talented, opinionated, diverse individuals to help us create the richest and most rewarding learning experience in Britain.  

"Whether you want to be an engineer or not, our message is come to Hereford and help co-create the first new university in Britain for over 40 years.
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Artist's impression of the new collaboration space - a dynamic and innovative new teaching and social space at the heart of NMITE.  Image courtesy of architects Architype who, in collaboration with Niall McLaughlin Architects, are working in partnership with NMITE to design an exciting purpose-built campus:

"If you are a bright young person who thinks learning is best done through teams actively working on interesting projects and is excited by the opportunity of a challenge like no other then we particularly want to hear from you!"

"    Details are on YouTube at:

"    Young people wanting to help create a new university should apply here:  (closing date 4 July 2018)

Specific benefits for Design Cohort students include:

"    A stipend (around the equivalent of £14,000 per annum, to cover time, living expenses and other costs).  This contribution is equivalent to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage for age 25 and over (irrespective of the age of participants).

"    A super-charged CV, with them experiencing some of the UK's most innovative higher education, as well as learning valuable employment skills such as negotiating, project management, team-working, risk assessment, ethics, and presentation skills. There will be a bit of engineering too.

"    The opportunity to meet a wide range of engineering employers.

"    The unique experience of having shaped an entire university's teaching approach, facilities, learning spaces.

"    The role of ambassador for NMiTE - after all the first student intake and their parents will want to hear all about NMiTE from you.

"    In support of our ground-breaking approach, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has kindly agreed to provide funding for a select number of scholarships for Design Cohort participants who show particular interest and engagement with issues associated with engineering and sustainability for the Water Industry. We are absolutely delighted to have their involvement, which is an example of the way we intend to engage partners to become a key part of our future university.

Professor Helen Rogers added: "NMiTE was born out of a meeting five years ago where local youngsters strongly argued the need for a university to be created in the Hereford.  This is about to become a reality and we want to continue being led by the needs of students and employers.

 "They will be helping us design the structure of the courses and answering important questions such as what technology we should have, how we should promote engineering, and what should our campus look like.

"Also, they will help with creating the whole student living experience.  For instance, what should our student accommodation feel like, what sports and leisure facilities should we provide, what pastoral support should be offered."

"While there won't be a typical day as each will be different, as an illustration, they will be working in teams on a particular challenge with a month to investigate the problem, assess options and design an innovative solution.  As we are creating the university, many of these challenges will be about creating NMiTE itself."

Background details on the Design Cohort:

"    The young adults joining us will do one or more stints of 14-16 weeks, starting September 2018, January and May 2019.  They can sign up for some or all of the stints. The choice is theirs.

"    Skills students will gain during their spell as a member of the NMiTE Design Cohort will include agile thinking, concept development, communication, presentation skills, project management, negotiation, people dynamics, Initiative, team-working, and innovation… and some engineering too!

NMiTE Information
Britain has an estimated shortfall of 40,000 engineering graduates and closing this gap is essential if the country is to have the high-value skills needed for a successful modern economy.  NMiTE is being created to help solve this problem with a radical new approach and a curriculum that combines the best innovations from leading universities around the world.
Subject to validation, NMiTE will open its doors to a Pioneer Cohort in September 2019. By 2020, it's expected that 350 students will be based at a purpose-built city centre campus in Hereford from where NMiTE will deliver the world's most distinctive and innovative engineering curriculum.  Its approach can be summed up as "100% learning by doing: no lectures, no set textbooks and no exams".  It intends to be educating more than 5,000 engineering students by 2032.  

The future university is being strongly backed by engineering businesses, the Herefordshire community, Herefordshire Council, the University of Warwick, Olin College of Engineering (USA), professional engineering bodies and the UK Government, which recently announced up to £23million in initial funding and featured it in its recent White Paper Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future.
£8 million of this funding for the project was awarded to the Marches LEP via its Growth Deal with Government.  Growth Deals are awarded to LEPs through a competitive bidding process to fund the delivery of projects to boost the local economy.