Santander has announced it is backing MK:U, the UK’s first university focused on digital skills, providing £30 million of funding to help establish the university and further strengthen Milton Keynes’ position as Europe’s leading Smart City, reports the university's website.
MK:U is being developed by Cranfield University, which is based just outside Britain’s most successful new town.
The funding is a major boost for plans to set up a new university in the largest English city or town to currently lack one, despite sitting at the heart of the high-tech arc joining Oxford and Cambridge.
Santander’s contribution is one of the biggest corporate donations to British higher education in recent years. Alongside £10 million in capital financing, Santander will contribute £20million in running costs for the first three years of MK:U’s life.
The capital costs will help finance iconic buildings in central Milton Keynes, which will serve as the heart of the new university.
MK:U will have a strong focus on digital technologies. It will offer two-year degrees, higher apprenticeship-level qualifications, and work placements designed alongside employers. It will also provide a new cultural and civic heart for Milton Keynes, which has seen an annual population growth this century of over 17% and is forecast to be home to over 300,000 citizens by the middle of the next decade.
The curriculum will include content which is delivered and designed by industry partners – in fields like artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics.
MK:U is expected to serve at least 5,000 students and be open by 2023.
For more information visit Cranfield's website https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/press/news-2019/santander-provides-30m-boost-to-plans-for-innovative-new-university-in-milton-keynes