U.K. Billionaire Puts Up Fee-Free University To Bridge Engineering Skills Gap


Billionaire Sir James Dyson will be helping the launch of a new private university in the U.K. The Dyson Institute of Technology is expected to fill the growing skills gap in the engineering industry.

The Daily Mail reported that Dyson will be spending £15 million (about $18 million) for the launch of a new university. This will be the first new private college in the nation for more than 20 years.

The billionaire inventor hopes that the investment will increase the engineering workforce of his vacuum-cleaner firm to 6,000, four years from now. Those in the industry believe that the school will help boost the economy and stop the growing skills gap. It was noted that more engineers are needed in the U.K. as compared to 10 years ago.

What's interesting, though, is that students who get accepted on the course will not be required to pay fees. Instead, they will receive salary to work with Dyson's engineers.

"We are competing globally with Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore," Dyson said. "It's all the major technology nations and we have got to be better than them."

"[The shortage of engineers is] a problem in America and Europe and has started to become a problem in Japan. It seems that the fast-growing economies or emerging nations really recognise the value of engineering, but when you reach security there is less interest in what makes you successful."

The U.K . billionaire believes that countries in Asia are now out-performing Western nations in terms of the production of engineering graduates. The school will be accepting its first group of 25 students in September next year.

According to The Guardian, Dyson revealed that the idea for the university came after he had a visit to the government to "moan about the lack of engineers." He was told to "take matters into his own hands."

Initially, the degrees will be awarded by Warwick University. Dyson will be applying for powers from the Department of Education for the creation of a full-fledged university.

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