University of Hertfordshire-led proposal reaches final of the government’s £120m Institute of Technology competition

13 May 2021

A proposal to create a new Hertfordshire Institute of Technology (IoT), led by the University of Hertfordshire, is one of 13 to have reached the final stage of the government’s IoT competition. Eight of the final 13 will be able to access a share of £120m worth of capital funding, which will be used to transform higher technical STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) training and education in the region.

The Hertfordshire IoT will help meet business demand for new, work-ready employees and apprentices across Hertfordshire and along the A1(M) ‘science corridor’, which includes the towns of Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield. The IoT will focus on three sector specialist areas, providing a new and distinctive learning offer at level three and above:

  • Construction and the built environment – with a focus on off-site manufacturing and aligned with the country’s ‘net zero’ target
  • Life sciences and pharmaceuticals – with a focus on advanced therapeutic medicinal products (cell and gene therapies)
  • Digital – with a focus on digital technologies, data analysis and AI

The consortium behind the Hertfordshire IoT proposal engaged with businesses, county stakeholders, and sector-based organisations across the specialist areas to better understand the challenges they face in the labour market and what skills employers need. The consortium includes key higher and further education providers in Hertfordshire as well as local employers, and the group is looking to welcome more support from the business community.

If the proposal is successful, the Hertfordshire IoT will seek to refurbish and improve local facilities, equipment and systems in the region – ensuring learners will have access to state-of-the-art facilities across the county.

Julie Newlan, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and International Development) at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “The University of Hertfordshire has a fantastic history of powering technical excellence and innovation. Today, the University boasts strong industry links and modern, flexible facilities that allow us to train the next generation of skilled STEM professionals.

“The Hertfordshire IoT will build on this legacy and, with our partners, will create an impactful skills eco-system in Hertfordshire, developing a workforce fit for the future. It will offer a holistic learning experience by blending traditional forms of study with practical technical skills and advanced practice. It will mean employers will have access to competent, industry-ready professionals and it will allow higher technical education in the area to meet the local, regional and national challenges.”

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Advisory Panel (formerly known as Skills and Employment Board) said: “Hertfordshire boasts a significant ecosystem of sector-based businesses, notably in advanced engineering and manufacturing, sustainable construction and life sciences. The county is in a fantastic position for employment growth in STEM and allied disciplines, and the proximity of these sectors to our highly regarded education establishments means that the Hertfordshire LEP area is well suited to hosting an IoT. The fact that this proposal has reached the final stage of the competition is recognition of that.”

The final stage of the wave two Institute of Technology competition will test the viability, feasibility and deliverability of the proposals in more detail. The results of wave two will be announced later in the year.

The first 12 IoTs were announced during wave one of the competition in 2019.


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