New model university in Milton Keynes

  • Two-stage competition for first phase of new model university in UK’s fastest-growing city
  • Prominent 10-hectare site – the last major undeveloped site in the city centre
  • Shortlist to create an overall masterplan for the site as well as concept designs
  • Stage Two honorarium of £30,000 for each of five teams
  • Deadline for first-stage responses is 14:00 GMT Wednesday 6 March 2019.
  • The winner announcement is expected in summer 2019.

Milton Keynes Council (MKC) together with Cranfield University and Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) launched the MK:U International Design Competition for a new model university in the Oxford to Cambridge innovation arc.

Their intention is to transform thinking about higher education and create a new exemplar that is open, accessible, dynamic, technologically-focused, innovative, diverse, business-oriented and entrepreneurial.

Through its ambitious curriculum focused on digital economy skills, MK:U will honour the innovative spirit of nearby Bletchley Park, the birthplace of modern computing, and further MK’s pioneering work in ‘Big Data’, transport innovation and urban design.

Headline subjects include robotics and artificial intelligence; digital and cyber; smart cities; business and entrepreneurship; and design thinking. MK:U will go beyond the scope of a traditional university, using its own University Quarter and the wider city as a ‘living lab’ to test out new concepts and ideas, and inspire MK’s students and citizens.

MK:U is one of the flagship projects of the MK Futures 2050 programme, which supports MKC’s ambition to create a city of opportunity for all. It is expected to open to its first students — undergraduates, returners and mature learners — by 2023. All three phases are due to complete within 15 years, when the university will serve 15,000 students.

Full details of the competition, including the Search Statement and how to enter, can be found online.

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