The new degree-level programmes will deliver professional skills combined with a technical curriculum to create a future digital workforce, developing a new model university for the needs of the 21st Century.
More than 100 businesses, employing more than 700,000 people between them are part of the Business Supporters Group that will help drive the curriculum for the first four digital apprenticeship courses, and those that follow once the new campus becomes established.
To begin with, apprentices are offered the options of Chartered Manager, Cyber Security, Data Scientist, and Digital & Technology Solutions, and the first cohort from Santander and BAE Systems, have already begun their studies. The second, open cohort, drawn from a wider range of businesses, have just started their courses.
In addition to the degree apprenticeship courses, MK:U is launching its Innovation Hub in March, which will provide a space where businesses can meet and collaborate on new and innovative ideas, and find ways to utilise technologies in business.
Lynette Ryals OBE, Pro Vice Chancellor of Cranfield University and Chief Executive of MK:U, said:
“The fact is that we live in a fast-changing technological world. Employers in this region and across the UK have identified an urgent and severe digital skills gap. They need help to develop their workforce talent to take on these exciting and challenging new roles.
“Degree apprenticeships offer a number of benefits, not least the fact that you are employed and therefore both earning and building your career whilst you study. The tuition fees are covered by the employer’s apprenticeship levy, so you are graduating without student debt and, because you are working and studying at the same time, the knowledge and skills you gain on your degree apprenticeship can be applied directly to your work role.
“On completing a degree apprenticeship, the employee has a university degree plus several years of experience already under their belt. It’s a great route for the apprentice and, for employers, it is an attractive recruitment proposition or a way of retaining someone through upskilling them. The employer also benefits from our problem-based learning approach which delivers graduates who have a problem-solving and team-working orientation, as well as producing people who are experienced within their company.
“Combined with its Innovation Hub, we believe that MK:U is delivering a new way of looking at higher education that prepares businesses for a digital and technological future.”
Find out more about MK:U here.