New university ARU Peterborough partners with Anglia Ruskin

Anglia Ruskin University is unveiled as higher education partner for new £30 million university in Peterborough, due to open in 2022

The Combined Authority of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has today announced that Anglia Ruskin University will be the higher education partner for ARU Peterborough, its new university.

The £30 million new university is set to open in 2022 and is projected to welcome 2,000 students.

Anglia Ruskin University will be responsible for delivery of ARU Peterborough’s curriculum and for the recruitment of its students.

The new university has been a 20-year ambition for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, working in partnership with Peterborough City Council.

Opening today’s virtual announcement, universities minister Michelle Donelan called ARU Peterborough “a momentous achievement” and described it as being “transformational” to the city and the region.

By 2030, she said, the university could be teaching 12,500 students, and hoped by 2034/35 to have created 31,500 jobs locally.

This is not a university where you go to get a degree – it’s where you go to get a career – Mayor James Palmer

Mayor of Peterborough, James Palmer, began a campaign for the new university where elected in 2017.

He explained that while Peterborough has recently been named England’s fastest growing city in a McKinsey report, it had also been placed in the bottom 10% of local authorities for learning and training, meaning that growing businesses in the area struggled to recruit suitable local talent.

Describing ARU Peterborough as “the first of it kind in the UK”, Mayor Palmer emphasised it would be an “employment-focussed” technical university, adding: “This is not a university where you go to get a degree – it’s where you go to get a career.”

Anglia Ruskin vice-chancellor Roderick Watkins said his institute would now “design and deliver a outstanding, bespoke modern university for Peterborough… with courses that reflect employer need as well as student demand.”

Courses will cover business and innovation; creative, digital arts and sciences; agriculture and environment; and health and education. Face-to-face learning will be combined with work-based learning, Mr Watkins said, and there will be a high number of degree apprenticeships. Anglia Ruskin will begin recruiting a development team immediately. Further details on ARU Peterborough’s curriculum are to follow.

Architect of the new university Murdoch Cameron, of Cambridge-based MCW Architects, confirmed that construction was due to begin this autumn, with a construction company yet to be selected.


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