Hunt for HE partner to develop new ‘trailblazer’ University of Peterborough

The search has started to find the best higher education partner to develop the new curriculum and deliver learning at the new University of Peterborough.

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority is searching for a partner to help realise the vision of a University capable of meeting the needs and aspirations of local people and the local economy; and deliver a regenerating effect on the city and the region.
The Combined Authority has issued a Prior Information Notice and Expression of Interest which will test the market for early interest. A detailed selection process for the new academic partner will take place over the autumn.

The new higher education partner has the opportunity to be an integral part of a potentially UK-first university by developing a “hybrid” model that sees technical learning embedded within the curriculum. The aim is to offer a range of learning models which best meet the needs of employers and students, including higher level degree apprenticeship programmes, two-year degrees and work placements, including via local businesses supporting sandwich courses. This blended learning approach using a range of flexible teaching methods is seen as key to attracting students of all ages.

The University will aim to create new opportunities for graduate-level employment in the area, while also encouraging talented graduates to live and work in the City and region long after graduation.

The Combined Authority has already surveyed local businesses seeking their views on skills development and methods of learning delivery they would like to see, with the feedback being used to develop the new curriculum.
The development of the curriculum will continue this autumn, with external stakeholder events asking for further input from local businesses, alongside students and the wider community.

Mayor James Palmer said: “This represents another important step in the delivery of the University, as we build up to welcoming the first cohort of 2,000 students and opening a new campus on the Embankment by September 2022. It is essential we have a higher education partner that really understands what we are trying to achieve. Equally, this is a unique opportunity in higher education so I’m confident we will attract a high calibre of potential partners. The University is an integral part of our wider skills strategy and a pioneering project which is redefining what higher education can offer in the 21st Century economy.”

Deputy Mayor and Leader of Peterborough City Council, Cllr John Holdich said: “At the end of last year the combined authority with the support of the city council commissioned a review of the progress made to establish a university for Peterborough. That review concluded there is a robust plan in place to establish a university but we should consider which academic provider we are partnered with to achieve our ambition.

“It is great news that the search is now underway and I am confident that we will secure a partnership with the best, most progressive and innovative academic provider which will deliver the university that Peterborough needs and that the people of the city deserve.”

The design and build work for the University will continue alongside the procurement process for a new higher education partner. Earlier this summer the Combined Authority announced that world renowned project management consultants Mace had been appointed to support the delivery of the new university.

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