Business input is vital for university plans
Business input is vital for university plans

Business input is vital for university plans

Now is the time for businesses to start having a say in how the University of Peterborough can help them achieve their ambitious goals.

That’s the key message from the most recent Bondholder Breakfast event run by Opportunity Peterborough where plans for the University of Peterborough were recently discussed with over 100 business delegates thanks to support from the University of Peterborough project.

Following a £6.5 million grant which has been agreed in principle from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, work is now progressing on developing interactions with target student communities, employers and the wider Peterborough population.

Those in attendance got the chance to put their questions to a panel of experts to get the latest updates on proceedings from some of the key players in the University’s plans. An online survey has also been put together to canvas opinion from the wider business community.

The Q&A session took place after a presentation by Terry Jones, Principal at Peterborough Regional College, which outlined the vision, benefits and timescales for the University. It also covered initial plans for how the curriculum would be developed and a brief overview of some of the biggest benefits the education centre will bring to the city. It is expected that by 2035 Peterborough will have an undergraduate population of 12,500 students.

The panel discussion was facilitated by Steve Bowyer, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough and included:

  • Cllr Lynne Ayres, Cabinet Member for Education, Peterborough City Council
  • Alex Shaw, Head of Labs at
  • Adrian Cannard, Strategy and Planning Director, Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership
  • Liz Knight, Academic Director, University Centre Peterborough
  • Terry Jones, Principal, Peterborough Regional College

Key takeaways from the discussion were:

  • Infrastructure enhancements are being planned and are already underway. This is an area high on the agenda for the GCGP LEP and Combined Authority.
  • Transport is already a key consideration. Peterborough Regional College runs 13 bus routes across the region of which UCP students can use 12.
  • Research, although an important component, will be developed as the university becomes more well-established. The primary focus upon opening will be developing a robust curriculum. UCP already works closely with businesses on research and will continue to do so when it is an independent University.
  • Providing shorter and flexible courses will be essential. Currently 40% of students at UCP are older students and the Centre already offers courses that are 14 hours a week over two days.
  • The University will provide younger students who can’t afford to move away the ability to study without unnecessary additional cost.
  • Looking at different ways of delivering courses means there can be more flexibility. Students could have the option to study whilst working and even complete courses more quickly to reduce overall tuition costs.

To take part in the UCP survey and to share your thoughts on how businesses can engage with the University please visit: