Plans to build a new world-famous university in Milton Keynes are causing a behind-the-scenes battle of the boffins.
MK Council is budgeting to plough £7 million into the new uni between 2020 and 2022, the Citizen can reveal.
Built for 10,000 students, it would specialise in IT and technology, and become a “hub of knowledge” in the Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge corridor.
A huge uni from the Far East is already keen to be a partner, and a wealthy Chinese company has offered to equip the new campus with the latest high-tech facilities.
But the news is said to have enraged the University of Bedfordshire, which has spent five years developing its University Campus Milton Keynes.
However nearby Cranfield University seems unperturbed - because its vice-chancellor Sir Peter Gregson is one of the key players in the new uni plans.
He is chair of the MK Futures 2050 Commission, which has already announced its intentions to the government.
Its report states: “Over the past few years, Milton Keynes has recognised the importance of a stronger university presence in the city.
“So far it has only made limited progress.”
The ‘limited progress’ accusation has upset academics at Bedford, who say it is MK Council’s fault that UCMK has not developed more speedily.
A source for the uni said: “We are flabbergasted by this. For UCMK to grow in size as planned we desperately need student accommodation in Milton Keynes. We asked the council for 100 places but they failed miserably to help us.”
Council leader Pete Marland, said: “We are a fast- developing city placed in an ideal position in the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge corridor. There is room for another uni and an opportunity for it to become a globally-recognised hub of knowledge for IT, engineering and technology.”