ARU to be higher education partner for new £30million Peterborough university
A new employment-focused university is to be built in Peterborough with Anglia Ruskin University as the official higher education partner.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has announced the plans as part of a collaboration with Peterborough City Council.
It will be known as ARU Peterborough, and ARU will deliver the curriculum until 2028.
Professor Roderick Watkins, vice chancellor of ARU, said: “We are delighted to be appointed as the university partner in this exciting initiative, which will be transformative for the city of Peterborough and the region.
“Only last month we were named as one of the top 10 mainstream universities in the country for graduate employment, thanks to the talent and hard work of our students and staff.
“By working closely with employers in and around Peterborough to design and deliver courses that match their needs, ARU Peterborough will generate economic growth and provide life-changing opportunities for many local people who may not have previously considered going to university.”
The £30milllion university will soon begin recruiting its first cohort of students, with plans for the doors to be opened to 2,000 students in 2022 and the ambition to offer courses for up to 12,500 students by 2030.
ARU Peterborough will deliver a practical solution to the acute shortage of degree-level employees in the workforce, with Peterborough ranked in the bottom 10 per cent in the UK for skills levels.
By widening participation and attracting a diverse student population from non-traditional backgrounds, it will both redress the skills gap and improve social mobility in an area that has been a long-term higher education ‘cold spot’. The courses will be a mixture of on-campus lessons, in-work training and apprenticeships, with distance learning and outreach programmes to improve accessibility and widen participation.
The university has been an ambition of the city for more than 20 years, and the campus will have state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facilities with specialist teaching spaces including skills labs.
Mayor James Palmer said: “After decades of false starts, I am beyond pleased to be officially launching a new employment-focused university for Peterborough, which will drastically improve the life chances of people in Peterborough and the surrounding area.
“The university will breathe new life into the city and region, helping to empower people with the skills and training they need to find jobs and careers that will be fulfilling and rewarding and in turn creating a new generation of highly skilled workers to meet the needs of emerging markets.”
ARU has main campuses in Chelmsford and Cambridge and is one of the country’s leading mainstream universities for graduate employment.
ARU Peterborough will offer an employment-led delivery model to increase skills levels in Peterborough, helping the area build its economic prosperity, and the first four faculties will be Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Creative and Digital Arts and Sciences; Agriculture, Environment and Sustainability; and Health and Education.