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KNOWLEDGE NEWS New national centre for brownfield research announced

Employability is working out for students A national report has revealed that more and more graduates from the University of Wolverhampton are proving to be highly employable and securing professional roles after they leave. The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey, an annual national survey of all recent graduates from university or HE college, showed that 96% of the graduating class of 2017 are in work or further study, six months after they graduated. This outperforms the UK average for all universities and also makes the University the best performing university nationally for graduate employability, amongst comparable institutions.*

The University of Wolverhampton will help tackle the housing shortage through its new dedicated brownfield research centre. Plans for the National Brownfield Institute were revealed by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street at its new home, the University’s Springfield Campus. The project is being funded as part of the £350 million Housing Deal for the West Midlands that the Chancellor announced would go to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in his Spring Statement. The authority has set an ambitious target to build 215,000 new homes in the region by 2031, using around £100 million of the money to purchase former industrial sites in the Black Country. The Institute will play an integral role in the process of developing these sites so homes can be built on them – and is itself based on brownfield land, as part of the University’s £100 million regeneration project transforming the former Springfield Brewery site into the new campus. Alongside the Institute, Springfield Campus will be home to the University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment students – as well as the West Midlands University Technical College and Elite

Centre for Manufacturing Skills Hub, both of which are already operational on the site. Andy Street said: “The Institute will help safeguard and nurture our region’s most important assets – its people and land – helping to give everyone the opportunity of a decent job and an affordable home.” He also announced the launch of a new WMCA £5 million Regional Construction Training Fund to help fill the 2,800 additional jobs being created each year by the region’s booming construction industry. Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The Institute is a major part of our vision for Springfield and we see it as being very much a beacon for skills, providing solutions through innovation and new technology for the sector as a whole." The campus is part of wider large-scale projects helping to regenerate the city including the redevelopment of Canalside, the £55 million Westside development and the ongoing £150 million Wolverhampton Interchange project. For more information about Springfield Campus, visit:

Local businesses may be interested to learn that Wolverhampton students are supporting the regional economy, with 77% working in the West Midlands after graduation. The number of our students going into graduate level jobs continues to rise with 72% in professional or managerial roles – up from 68% last year. The survey also showed that the average starting salary of a graduate has risen from £24,024 to £24,455 per annum. Results highlighted that two thirds (67%) reported earning £15,000 to £29,999 and a further 20.5% were earning £30,000 to £59,999, six months after graduating – up by 4%. Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “University of Wolverhampton students continually demonstrate that they have the knowledge, skills and qualities that employers are looking for. “We have had very high employability rates over the last few years, so to maintain them is an outstanding achievement by both our staff and students, resulting in the University having one of the highest overall employability rates in the UK. “At the end of three years, students want to give themselves the best chance possible of securing not just a job but a career and what we have proved at the University is that we can help them achieve that.” * DLHE 2016/17. Based on highest positive difference between HEI Employment PI and Benchmark, for universities with eligible population of 2,000-2,500 graduating students (full-time UG).


House of Lords event celebrates degrees of lifelong learning The University of Wolverhampton returned to the House of Lords for a prestigious event celebrating Degree Apprenticeships and lifelong learning. The event in the capital was hosted by the University’s Chancellor, Lord Swraj Paul, in June. Key figures from construction, professional and legal services, as well as the health care industry, joined faculty staff to mark the first year of the University working with employers to provide Degree Apprenticeships. Its portfolio of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, delivering higher level professional and technical skills, has expanded over the last couple of years. The University now offers Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in Chartered Management (see below), Construction Management with

pathways for Civil Engineering & Built Environment, Manufacturing Engineering, Product Design & Engineer, Chartered Surveying, Chartered Legal Executive, Digital Technology Solutions, Nursing Associate and Professional and Healthcare Science Practitioner. The University’s Apprenticeship Hub provides a bespoke and independent venue for potential apprentices, employers and learning providers, offering clear and integrated progression routes for vocational pathways. For further information about Degree Apprenticeships and how your business can benefit, contact the Apprenticeship Hub – details below.

Pictured from left to right: Mark Price, Director of Apprenticeships (Business); Lord Swraj Paul, Chancellor; Ruksana Kavde, Chartered Manager Degree Apprentice; Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor.

The House of Lords celebration event recognised the efforts and commitment of partners and employers who have really embraced our vision of lifelong learning.

We’ve worked very closely with the LEP Board and local employers to identify regional skills gaps and are now providing pathways that are both relevant to industry and which offer apprentices real progression in their chosen careers.

Silver award for University teaching The University of Wolverhampton has been awarded a Silver award as part of a national scheme introduced by the Government to recognise excellence in teaching and learning. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), introduced by the Department for Education and overseen by the Office for Students, assesses providers’ undergraduate teaching based against criteria that cover the areas of teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes. Institutions have to go through a rigorous application process and are then awarded gold, silver, bronze or a provisional award. Awards can be held for up to three years. The Silver award means that based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University delivers provision that is of high quality, and consistently exceeds the rigorous national quality requirements for UK Higher Education, and found that most students achieve excellent outcomes. The panel found that the University displayed evidence of the involvement of employers in the development and review of all programmes. It also noted the embedding of the Enterprise and Employability Award scheme within academic programmes and its strategy to support student start-ups. Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor, said: “It highlights that our standards and student satisfaction are good and the employability of our students is very high. These measures, alongside the professional accreditation of our courses, all add up to a great higher education experience. “We are in the middle of an unprecedented £250 million investment programme which will improve the student experience further through new state-of-the-art facilities, industry-focused course provision, investment in our research and boosting the regional economy by bridging the skills gap – creating jobs.”

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton

Management of apprentice skills The University has marked its first year of delivering the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) in partnership with Serco.

In 2017, the University agreed a three-year partnership deal with the leading public sector services provider, to provide one of the first CMDAs in the country.

the Degree Apprenticeship is that it’s a great balance between studying, work and family life. Enhancing my skills will enable me to better my services for my organisation.

size, the Degree Apprenticeship delivers higher level technical and professional skills and offers an alternative to a traditional degree course.

120 Serco employees are currently on CMDA and 32 have completed their first year of the Degree Apprenticeship.

“It is challenging, but I love a challenge and I really enjoy being able to go to University with my peers. Everyone is supportive including my manager, lecturers and my mentor and all of this wouldn’t have been possible without their help.”

Mark Price, Director of Apprenticeships (Business) at the University, said: “Our new Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship offers a great opportunity for senior managers and those aspiring to the role to gain valuable new skills, get up-todate with current and developing business practices, and network with colleagues in the same situation.

The successful programme has been widened out to other organisations. More than 20 apprentices from organisations including Walsall Council, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, the Beacon Centre, Liberty group and Phosters are now studying for the CMDA. The University celebrated the milestone achievement with a day of workshops to help apprentices prepare for their ongoing studies. Ruksana Kavde, Information Officer within Children’s Services at Walsall Council and CMDA apprentice, said: “What I love about

The University has also celebrated the launch of its latest Degree Apprenticeship. The Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship is designed to boost the career credentials of aspiring business leaders, including senior managers with responsibility for the strategic leadership and direction of their organisation or department. Aimed at those working in the private, public and third sectors and for companies of any

"Participants will cover a wide range of business topics focusing on leadership, transformation, the creation, management and development of change, developing innovation, and the development of strategies which will transform their organisations.”

To find out more, contact the Apprenticeship Hub – tel: 01902 323 127 email: or visit:

New Science Centre awarded for excellence A new multi-million pound specialist centre at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park has won a regional industry award.

Graduates land prestigious business award

The £10.1 million Science Centre, which opened in 2017 and provides high-specification laboratory, workshop and office space for science and technology-based businesses, was named Best Large Commercial Building at the LABC West Midlands Excellence Awards. Designed by Fairhursts Design Group and built by Clegg Construction, the centre was completed last year and has seven tenants to date. LABC's Chief Executive, Paul Everall said: "The awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate some of the very best in construction in England and Wales, recognising the high level of quality and skill we can and do reach in the UK." Nigel Babb, University of Wolverhampton Science Park Director, said: “We’re really proud to have won the award and it’s great that the centre has been recognised in this way. “The centre offers unrivalled specialist space to scientificbased businesses wanting to develop and enhance their research and development activities and we’re looking forward to welcoming more companies in the near future." The Science Centre project was funded through a £4.8 million grant from the Growth Deal to the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, with the remaining £5.3 million coming from the University. LABC award winners will be going to the Grand Finals, which are held on Friday 9 November at the Westminster Park Plaza in London. For more information on the Science Centre and its facilities, visit: or tel: 01902 824 000

A Wolverhampton-based video production and animation company is celebrating after being named ‘Micro Business of the Year’ at the 2018 Express & Star Business Awards.

UTC Aerospace Systems, CrossCountry Trains and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

Stone’s Throw Media was awarded the accolade at the awards ceremony, held in June at Wolverhampton Racecourse.

As alumni, University of Wolverhampton Science Park tenants and proud residents of the city itself, we hope that our success will help to shine a spotlight on the wealth of creative and entrepreneurial talent we have here in the area.

In 2011, two University of Wolverhampton students, Matt Weston and Mike Chinn, launched their own business with the aim of “making the world of corporate video more exciting and visually stimulating." Since then, Stone’s Throw Media has grown its staff and its portfolio. There are now seven members of staff employed on a full-time, permanent basis and clients range from regional SMEs to large multinationals such as: Jaguar Land Rover, World Food Programme (a branch of the United Nations), Redrow Homes, Dogs Trust, University of Wolverhampton,

Speaking after the event, business co-founder Matt said: “The whole Stone’s Throw team is absolutely delighted to be recognised with this award and we’d like to thank both the Express & Star and the award’s sponsor, the City of Wolverhampton Council.

View the company’s showreel and get in touch at:

New manufacturing centre signals return of foundry training Training in casting and foundry-related processes has returned to the region through a dedicated £4 million foundry training centre. The new National Foundry Training Centre (NFTC) in Dudley Port, West Midlands, is part of the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) Hub which represents an investment of £12.6 million in skills development in key manufacturing industries. The NFTC, one of three ECMS bespoke training centres based in the Black Country, offers design, moulding and melting facilities to enable practical and foundry training at all levels. The Institute of Cast Metals Engineers (ICME) hosted a large UK automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) at the NFTC earlier this year. Over the course of three days, Andrew Turner FICME, Business Development Manager for ICME and Richard Heath Prof MICME, hosted a group of twelve Costing and Purchasing Engineers from Jaguar Land Rover to present a foundation course in high pressure diecasting.

This is the first of several courses agreed with Jaguar Land Rover as they seek to improve the knowledge of their employees in foundry processes. Ian Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive at the ECMS, said: “We are able to arrange bespoke training courses on a range of foundry, castings and metalforming related subjects for any type of business, including foundries, engineering companies’ suppliers and customers in addition to the regular apprenticeship courses that are on offer.” ECMS is a collaboration between the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, University of Wolverhampton, Dudley College, Cast Metals Federation and the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers. A date for your calendar: the official launch of ECMS has been announced as Thursday 11 October, 8am-11am at the Centre on Springfield Campus.

For more information on the ECMS and NFTC, contact Trevor Codner at the ECMS on: 0800 953 3222 or: 01902 321 663.

Race team on track for new season success University of Wolverhampton Racing team (UWR) engineering students have unveiled their 2018 MSVR Formula 3 Cup racing car.

Championship. This form has carried over to the new season with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes across the first weekend.

The launch event at Telford Innovation Campus brought team sponsors, students and staff together to see the new livery for the very first time ahead of the first race of the 2018 season.

The second major event of the 2018 season saw the UWR Morgan team head to Silverstone, the home of Formula 1, to undertake rounds 3 and 4 of the 2018 Morgan Challenge. Both drivers and cars performed well, securing 1st and 2nd places in class to qualify.

The first weekend of the F3 Cup season saw UWR, the only student team to compete, taking part in a qualifying session and three races. For the past two years, UWR has taken second place in the national F3 Cup Driver’s

amongst the best in the country. “With a competitive motor racing team and a really attractive course offering, our students have a real hands-on engineering experience which meets the needs of future employers. On behalf of UWR, we thank our sponsors for their contributions which make our success possible.”

Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University and Chairman of the UWR team, said: “The significant investment we have made in engineering on Telford campus has provided us with facilities which are

Find out more about the range of engineering courses on offer at the Telford Innovation Campus at: and follow the UWR team’s progress on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter: @UWRacing and Instagram: @uwracing.

Morgan Academy opens doors to budding engineers A new academy, based at Morgan Motor Company’s factory in Malvern, has opened its doors to the next generation of engineers. The Morgan Academy will welcome the University’s Automotive Engineering students to work alongside skilled Morgan employees, taking this successful partnership to the next level. Students already benefit from a range of work and practical experience, as well as motor racing opportunities, after the official three-year partnership with the family-owned British motor manufacturer was agreed in 2016. At the launch of the Academy in June, guests enjoyed a tour of the world-famous factory from where the company has operated for more than 100 years, as well as the opportunity to meet students and find out more about the partnership. Steve Morris, Managing Director at Morgan Motor Company, said: “Working with the University, we are informing our future development. Access to state-of-the-art learning and research in this unique collaboration certainly gives us a competitive edge.”

Pictured left to right: Steve Morris, Managing Director at Morgan Motor Company with Prof. Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton

Meanwhile, student James Higginbotham said: “Being part of UWR and working alongside Morgan has provided me with valuable skills and given me a real insight into teamwork and the engineering expertise needed in the industry – setting us up perfectly for future employment.”


Business Festival success

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Business Festival, sponsored by the University, has been hailed a great success. Running from 23 April to 4 May 2018, over 100 business events of all sizes and descriptions took place during the fortnight, attended by more than 4,200 people. Event statistics show a remarkable 13% of attendees came from outside the Black Country, and with a market reach of 53.7 million, it has become the region’s biggest business event. 85% of people said the Business Festival positively affected their business, while 91% rated events as good to excellent. The University was proud to sponsor the festival and also hosted a Skills & Training Showcase and a Skills Dinner attended by a great number of business ambassadors looking to champion skills in the region. Guests heard about the integral role the University plays in economic growth, skills development and social change within the Black Country, and the innovative skills projects developed to support the skills agenda and bridge skills gaps in various sectors. For companies keen to be involved with next year’s festival, the event application process will open in September. Visit:

Business mentoring celebrated at Molineux Business leaders of the future are hoping to kick off successful careers after completing a mentoring scheme at the University of Wolverhampton. The Institute of Directors’ mentoring scheme pairs up business students with leading figures from industry, who act in the role of mentor in their final year. Developed by the University of Wolverhampton Business School in conjunction with the Institute of Directors, the scheme has helped over 200 students. The latest cohort of students celebrated completing the scheme with a special event at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC’s Molineux Stadium. Dr Jenni Jones, Senior Lecturer in HR and Leadership within the Business School, said: “Steve Morton talked about the incredible season that Wolves Football Club have had, the impact that going up to the Premiership will have and their international plans for the future. “This was followed by certificate presentations to students and mentors, recognising all their hard work.” For more details about the scheme, email:



Profile for University of Wolverhampton

Knowledge News - Summer 2018  

The University of Wolverhampton announces plans for a new brownfield research centre on their Springfield Campus, a report reveals graduate...

Knowledge News - Summer 2018  

The University of Wolverhampton announces plans for a new brownfield research centre on their Springfield Campus, a report reveals graduate...