Universities minister announces new educational charity during visit to Nottingham Trent University

On a visit to Nottingham Trent, Minister Chris Skidmore MP announced the University would co-lead a national centre to develop ways higher education can improve social mobility.

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Universities Minister Chris Skidmore MP, centre, during his visit to NTU

On a visit to Nottingham Trent, Minister Chris Skidmore MP announced the University would co-lead a national centre to develop ways higher education can improve social mobility.

The Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation toured NTU’s City Campus where he met Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Eunice Simmons. Prof Simmons shared with him the University’s sector-leading work on using learning analytics to improve students’ engagement in their studies.

As part of a wider speech setting out the next steps to improving access and participation in Higher Education, Mr Skidmore took the opportunity to announce plans for an evidence and impact exchange – a charity which is to be co-led by NTU, King’s College London and the Behavioural Insights Team.

The exchange will officially launch in the Spring and will focus on developing an evidence-based understanding of ‘what works’ to facilitate the access and success of students from underrepresented groups to higher education.

Mr Skidmore said that NTU was genuinely leading the way in delivering equality of opportunities for students and had earned a national reputation for innovation and quality in advancing the social mobility agenda.

He said he was delighted the university was being recognised for its efforts through the new exchange.

Prof Simmons said: “We were delighted to host the Minister and share with him our evidence-backed approach to improving access and participation in learning at university. It was an opportunity to also demonstrate how we are championing new ways of learning and helping students achieve excellent employability outcomes when they graduate.”

We were delighted to host the Minister and share with him our evidence-backed approach to improving access and participation in learning at university.

Professor Eunice Simmons, Deputy Vice-Chancellor NTU

The Minister visited part of NTU’s Employability centre, which has helped NTU achieve its impressive graduate employment rate, with four out of five graduates securing graduate entry jobs or training six months after leaving. These figures are broadly the same for all students, regardless of economic or ethnic background.

He also heard about the successful Degree Apprenticeships programmes with over 170 companies and met some of the Chartered Surveyor degree apprentices. NTU’s research into innovative models for active collaborative learning to improve student attainment and its unique summer reassessment support scheme were also showcased.

Students' Union Vice President Afua Acheampong described her research into the attainment of BME students and how the Union works closely with the University to support students to make the most of all the opportunities available to them at NTU.

Mr Skidmore continued his afternoon in Nottingham, visiting the University of Nottingham. Over the last nine months, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University have started working together on a brand new approach to their combined civic impact.

This initiative, called the Universities for Nottingham, will see both universities look at how they might better collaborate with each other and partners across the area to help support the future of economic growth in Nottingham and the life chances of its citizens.

Both universities will undertake a joint assessment of their economic, social and cultural impact on the local area – consulting partners across Nottingham about their challenges and priorities – before launching a joint civic programme in Autumn 2019.

The Minister remarked that he was delighted to see that both of Nottingham’s world-class universities were leading the university sector’s response to this important agenda.

Professor Nigel Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at NTU, also welcomed The Rt Hon Lord Henley to Nottingham during the same week. Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, visited MediCity where he heard from Prof Wright about the importance of MedTech for the locality and the region.

Both NTU and the University of Nottingham are major shareholders in MediCity, part of the BioCity Group, based in Nottingham. The group accommodates 200+ companies in the fields of biotechnology, life science product and diagnostics, contract research, medical device and industrial biotechnology.

Professor Wright discussed plans for NTU’s new Medical Technology Innovation Facility (MTIF) at NTU’s Clifton Campus and the Nottingham Boots Enterprise Zone, the latter building being located adjacent to MediCity. MTIF will enable industry and academia to interact to conceive and develop medical devices ideas through to commercialisation. It will drive invention and innovation as well as increase speed and efficiency of healthcare-related commercial product development through the provision of a number of services to industry, and is due for completion in the autumn of 2020.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Dave Rogers, Nottingham Trent University press office, on telephone 0115 848 8782, or via email


    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2017 at the Times Higher Education Awards, and Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    NTU was the first educational institution to sign the Social Mobility Pledge, demonstrating its commitment to furthering social mobility through education.

    NTU has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    NTU is one of the largest UK universities. With 30,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings. 96% of its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    Our student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Satisfaction Survey.
    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of over 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

Universities minister announces new educational charity during visit to Nottingham Trent University

Published on 28 February 2019
  • Category: Press office

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