Dyson sets up its own university

  | James Innes

Already famous as the inventor of revolutionary vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and washing machines, Sir James Dyson, British entrepreneur, is turning his hand to education, and will invest £15 million of his own money over the next 5 years to launch a new university – The Dyson Institute of Technology.

Dyson told the Press Association that he felt the private sector had a duty to plug the engineering skills gap, because the UK needed 10 times the number of engineers than it did ten years ago. “We are competing globally with Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. It’s all the major technology nations and we have got to be better than them”, he said.

There is a shortage of skilled engineers throughout developed economies, with Asian nations outperforming the west when it comes to the number of new graduates. ”The shortage of engineers is a problem in America and Europe, and is starting to become a problem in Japan”, Dyson commented. “It seems that the fast-growing economies or emerging nations really recognise the value of engineering, but when you reach security there is less in what made you successful”.

The Dyson Institute of Technology, which will be based at Dyson’s campus in Wiltshire – 2 hours to the west of London – will see its first intake of 25 students in September 2017. Students will not pay any fees, will receive a salary and, as part of the course, will work alongside Dyson engineers on future products.

The degrees will be awarded initially by Warwick University, while Dyson applies for powers from the Department of Education to create a fully-fledged university.

Sir James also addressed fears about automation and the concerns about the impact on employment of smart robots. “A lot of our production is fully automated, but people are needed for other things”, he said.  “We don’t need to worry about automation or robots at all. It increases the number of interesting jobs for people.”

Source: The Guardian

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