News & Updates

Institute of Digital Technology plans celebrated at Partner event

Milton Keynes College were joined at Woburn Sculpture Gallery by a number of major industry partners to celebrate successfully progressing through the first stage of Institute for Technology shortlisting to launch a digital academy at block D of Bletchley Park, home of the codebreakers.

Guests heard from industry leaders on the importance of encouraging and honing digital skills to the future generations, as well as plans for the much anticipated MK:U.

Police Constable Jon Kidd, a Cyber Security Consultant with Metropolitan Police spoke of the Prevent Team’s role in identifying children and young adults who are on the fringes of cyber dependent crime, and utilise their skills onto positive pathways. He spoke of how hackers can be as young as 11, and often hack for the kudos, not for the financial gain. A lot of these children do not realise that what they are doing is illegal. He spoke of how these hackers have considerable skills, and the efforts to turn potential hackers into ethical hackers as a career path, and educating children that this is a viable use of skills that they tend to gain away from the classroom.

Professor Lynette Ryals, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the School of Management at Cranfield University, spoke of a subject close to a lot of the guests, MK:U. In her role as Programme Director for MK:U, she spoke of plans for a learning model that isn’t centred around theory, but around the problems that need to be solved. It is estimated that by 2023, around 5,000 students will be studying at the university.

CEO and Co-Founder of TeenTech, Maggie Philbin, spoke of the importance of promoting skills and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths). Voted the most influential woman in UK IT by Computer Weekly and also named 2016 Digital Leader of the Year, she explained about the work her company, Teen Tech does to help young people, their parents and teachers understand the real opportunities in contemporary industry.

Closing the event, MK College Principal & Chief Executive, Dr Julie Mills gave a much anticipated update on the progress of the bid for the Institute of Technology as it moves onto the next stage of the bidding process. Dr Mills said,

‘The number of stakeholders here today shows the power of feeling from employers and digital leaders that the current approach to digital skills is insufficient in meeting demands from industry now – let along in the future. The Institute of Digital Technology will work to address this, building on the fantastic heritage of Bletchley Park to create a new generation of code makers.’

In the press

Business MK:

New Statesman:

BBC News Online:

Further Education (FE) Week:


Destination Milton Keynes:

SC Media UK:

ITV News (Anglia)