James Dyson to open engineering school

17-07-2006

James Dyson to open engineering school
Entrepreneur James Dyson yesterday announced plans to establish his own school for budding engineers and designers.

The inventor of the bag-less vacuum cleaner said the Dyson School of Design Innovation would open in Bath in September 2008.

The state school will accommodate 2,500 pupils between the ages of 14 and 18, with those aged over 16 attending full-time and being given the opportunity to study for new national diplomas in engineering. Those below school-leaving age will attend the school once a week.

Announcing the new initiative, Mr Dyson warned that the UK had lost its place as a world leader in engineering and risked being overshadowed by India and China.

He emphasised that the UK produced just 24,000 engineering graduates each year, compared to 300,000 in China and 450,000 in India.

"If we want to follow in the footsteps of Isambard Kingdom Brunel to innovate exciting products, we need to start with education," said multi-millionaire Mr Dyson.

"This is about reinventing the spirit of Brunel in the 21st-century context," he added.

Mr Dyson's charity, the James Dyson Foundation, has provided £12.5 million of the estimated £22 million necessary to establish the school, while the government has financed the rest.

Leading engineering firms Airbus, Rolls-Royce and the Williams Formula One racing team are also involved in the project and will donate prototypes and take part in the school's industry mentoring programme.

Welcoming the announcement of the new school to promote engineering, skills minister Phil Hope said: "It will represent a real boost for young people, the engineering sector and industry regionally."

Related categories: Management / Business, Education / Training / Teaching.


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