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Hereford based NMITE, New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering, has welcomed fifty-five new students to its September cohort, its highest intake yet, demonstrating the institution’s refreshing approach to engineering education is gaining the traction it deserves.

Back in September 2021, NMITE opened its doors to its first students, twenty-seven pioneers who embarked on the only accelerated MEng degree in the UK (three years rather than four), with an aim to get engineers into the workplace sooner, and with less debt.

Two years on, James Newby, CEO at NMITE, shares his thoughts:

“We are thrilled with the number of students that have joined us this September. It’s testament to the hard work of the entire NMITE team, and that of our students, in raising awareness that we are a unique and innovative higher education institution. We’ve come a long way since our pioneers joined us; we’ve enrolled a further three cohorts, added new courses, provided more choice and more entry paths for students, and been granted degree awarding powers.”

Eira Mckillen from Cardiff is part of the new cohort for September 2023 and reflects on her first thoughts on Hereford and NMITE:

“NMITE is a humble but ambitious place, brimming with friendly faces and new horizons. I have been particularly impressed by its Skylon campus which is a large and modern facility perfect for big projects and bigger ideas. I am also delighted to be studying in Hereford as it is a lovely place that oozes personality, with friendly locals and interesting architecture which make it a place I would love to stay in forever.”

Whilst the newest cohort settles in, NMITE has analysed stats on previously enrolled students to build a picture of the type of institution it has become. Demonstrating the value NMITE brings to the local area, almost half of the institution’s students have home addresses less than forty-five miles from the campus. Over a fifth have come through a Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning route, which is practical experience replacing formal qualifications. Two-thirds do not have a Level 3 Maths qualification, a quarter have previously studied engineering, and there is a median age on entry of twenty.

NMITE prides itself on being different, with the ‘new’ in its title being fundamental to the way it delivers its model of learning. The institution’s degrees in Integrated Engineering, in the form of both the MEng and BEng degrees, and the BSc Sustainable Built Environment Hons degree have been structured to enable students to study 9am-5pm, 46 weeks per year, on projects set by industrial and community partners.

This approach gives students the right support and experience to ensure they have the best chance at graduating career-ready, all whilst providing the downtime they deserve to the benefit of their wellbeing. NMITE has also shifted the barriers to entry for applicants, removing Level 3 Maths as a pre-requisite (with maths teaching being integrated into the degree), and selecting applicants based on their attributes and motivation, to end up with classrooms that reflect society.

Newby comments:

“We are proud to be leaning into a levelling up agenda and providing a STEM-based higher education route that allows talented young people with disparate backgrounds and experiences to stay in the region.  Once here, our students seem to settle in well and stay with us, many of whom will make a home in the region and become productive new citizens, contributing to the inward investment for the region that we hoped for when setting up NMITE in Herefordshire.”