Universities Minister breaks ground at the Dyson Institute

Jo Johnson visited Dyson Institute today to mark the opening of their new village for engineering and technology students

Today, 28 November, Universities Minister Jo Johnson officially ‘cut the turf’ for the new undergraduate village at the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The student facilities, located in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, will comprise 78 accommodation pods, as well as a library, café, bar, screening room and shop. The village will officially open in September 2018.

Founded by Sir James Dyson, the Institute gives students the opportunity to study for an engineering degree while concurrently working as part of Dyson UK. Over 850 students applied for 25 places in the first year of the course, which started this year.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said:

"The value of a skilled workforce to Britain’s future was spelt out in last week’s Budget, making clear that better training and skills are key to raising productivity and growth.

"The Dyson Institute is a brilliant example of a new, innovative and high-quality provider that has taken advantage of the government’s reforms to offer something genuinely exciting. It is giving students the opportunity to get hands-on experience at Dyson while studying for their degree, learning about everything from robotics to software to aerodynamics. It is playing an important role in educating the next generation of much-needed engineers, giving young people the skills they need for the jobs of the future. It has been a pleasure to be here today and see the brilliant work of the Institute in action."

Recent government reforms through the Higher Education and Research Act have made it easier for new providers – like the Dyson Institute – to enter the sector and award degrees, giving students more choice and boosting competition to improve teaching quality.

Sir James Dyson said:

"My attitude has always been to take on young people, graduates, and give them immediate responsibility. Dyson takes on hundreds of graduate engineers every year and we mentor them through. If you walk around, you can see that there is already a campus feeling here in Malmesbury – cafes and restaurants full of people working and learning. It just seemed absolutely natural to take it one stage further by taking on school leavers and giving them a really unique and rigorous engineering education.

"Jo Johnson’s inspired legislation is enabling us to do something entirely new and very exciting – this is not an easy option for a student to choose but we are developing some truly exceptional engineers who will develop future Dyson technologies."

Today’s visit comes the day after the launch of the government’s Industrial Strategy, which sets out a vision for Britain to boost people’s skills and earning power.

This Thursday, 30 November, the Department for Education is also hosting its own Skills Summit, bringing together education experts and top employers to tackle the nation’s skills gap.

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