Pathways, partnerships and productivity
Pathways, partnerships and productivity

Growing the regional economy: a new vision for Engineering and Technology at Canterbury Christ Church University

19 Apr 2019

Canterbury Christ Church University is working in partnership with local businesses to develop and deliver innovative degree-level, professionally accredited qualifications, provided as major new full-time, part-time and apprenticeship-based courses, designed collaboratively to fulfil the needs of the engineering and technology sectors.

These new professional qualifications will be delivered and supported through the new Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub, funded through £6.12m from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and a further £7m from the former Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Catalyst Fund.

The EDGE Hub will be established by 2020 to deliver work-ready graduates for local SMEs, alongside new innovation services, technologies and facilities, and will be a multimillion-pound facility in Canterbury with distributed centres of excellence across Kent and Medway. This hub-and-spoke model will enable the centres of excellence to be easily accessible by regional SMEs and will become instrumental in improving regional access to Engineering and Technology graduates while retaining them in Kent and Medway to ensure future economic success.

Nationally, there is an annual shortage of over 20,000 engineers (Engineering UK, 2017) and women make up only 11% of the engineering workforce. To challenge the gender and national skills gap, the university aims to attract 35% women and 40% of new learners from less advantaged communities to its courses, strongly promoting equality and diversity in education and industry. Christ Church is also removing barriers to success by taking away the need for A level physics – designing the engineering knowledge required as students learn.