The New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering (NMITE) in Herefordshire celebrated a milestone achievement on Monday, 24th July, as it received New Degree Awarding Powers from the government's Office for Students (OfS). This significant development comes in anticipation of its inaugural cohort graduating next year (2024).

The new powers permit NMITE to confer its unique Bachelors and Masters degrees in Integrated Engineering, alongside non-accelerated degrees, foundation courses, and an innovative BSc in the Sustainable Built Environment. All these courses will be available from September of this year.

Local MP, Jesse Norman, expressed his elation at the news, regarding it as a historical landmark for the county. "Thanks to NMITE, for the first time in more than 1,000 years, students coming here from near and far will be able to graduate with a Herefordshire university degree," Mr Norman stated, acknowledging the institute's remarkable progression since it opened its doors to degree students a mere two years ago.

NMITE's journey to independent degree-awarding status began with The Open University (OU), announced as its validating partner on 1st December 2020. The institution's chief, James Newby, praised the partnership with OU for having bolstered NMITE's advancement, allowing it to concentrate on developing and implementing its innovative model of engineering education.

Mr Newby commended The Open University for being "innovative and adaptable", hailing it as "another example of a great Higher Education innovator". He hinted at the potential for continued collaboration in the future.

Jesse Norman MP underscored the news as a testament to the quality of education provided by NMITE and the confidence that the Office for Students, as a regulator, has in the institute. The MP also emphasised the broader implications of this milestone, stating, "Slowly but surely, we are building a new model of economic regeneration and development, a model of higher skills, better jobs and greater prosperity. This is one crucial further stage in that process."