A security pass is required at all times to attend events in either of the secure Conference venues, Manchester Central or The Midland Hotel.


08.00 Cranfield University and the Education Policy Institute

Manchester Central : Central 8

Completing the UK's Silicon Valley: the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and a new university in Milton Keynes

This session will ask, can MK:U, a proposed new university backed by Cranfield University, deliver the business-ready graduates the UK economy needs?


At the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, with successful financial and engineering industries, and located along the East West Rail and Expressway, Milton Keynes is well-placed to replicate attributes of the Silicon Valley. Backed by Cranfield University, renowned for its world-leading STEM provision, MK:U is a proposed new university designed to utilise the opportunities of the Arc. This includes a supply of highly-qualified tech specialists and an ecosystem of local and global businesses.


16.00 Centre For Progressive Policy

Midland Hotel : Fairclough

Implementing Augar - building an adult education system fit for the future of work

A panel debate on the importance of and barriers to lifelong learning


The ability to reskill and upskill during our working lives is paramount, but how do we measure what skills businesses need and how do we provide the courses required? How do we inform prospective students about skills sought by businesses and their career opportunities? How do local decision makers identify opportunities and address barriers? What is the role of place and is the current, centralised funding model fit for purpose or should local authorities be empowered to take responsibility?

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Important Notes
* All conference events, speakers, dates, times, and locations are subject to change.
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