A landmark international deal has been signed to open a new health science campus in Crewe, Cheshire, in a UK first.
Welcoming UK and international students from September 2019, the facility will offer degrees in Biomedical Sciences and Podiatry, plus medical foundation courses, the first in a series of allied health courses.
The deal is backed by the Apollo Buckingham Health Science Campus consortium, with investment from Apollo Hospitals Educational and Research Foundation (AHERF), an independent education arm of the $2 billion market cap Indian healthcare conglomerate Apollo Hospitals Group. Apollo will become the first international healthcare company to partner in UK education provision in this way.
The new health science campus will be based on the 40-acre Crewe campus currently used by Manchester Metropolitan University, which is leaving the site in summer 2019.
Courses will be provided under the banner of the University of Buckingham Health Sciences North – with the first students arriving in September 2019. As programmes are developed the aim is to reach the site’s 5,000 student capacity by 2024. The new campus is ultimately expected to support around 500 jobs
The deal will keep an academic presence in Crewe. Based on the University of Buckingham’s highly successful model of accelerated degrees, biomedical sciences will be a two-year degree programme and podiatry will take just two and a half years. The campus will also offer a one-year Medical Foundation and a one-year Pre-Medical course; these courses are specifically designed for entry to UK medical and dental schools.
Recognising the importance of mental health and wellbeing to academic success, the new campus will include a wellness centre for both students and staff. This service will be provided by the third consortium member, the Crewe-based Unique Childrens Community Interest Company, which brought Apollo and the University of Buckingham together.
Turnover of the new not-for-profit health science campus could be up to c£30m by 2024, thanks to a deal that reflects a sustainable educational model delivered through an innovative approach to partnerships.
In an additional benefit to the region, third year students will be offered 36-week placements in North West hospitals and GP surgeries, helping to relieve pressure on local NHS services.
John Clapham, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said:
“Our trailblazing Medical School in Buckingham has been a phenomenal success. With this new campus in the North West, Buckingham will expand this innovation beyond medicine, building on our expertise to broaden our health science provision.
“We are delighted to partner with Apollo, which has dramatically improved access to high quality medical care in India. We believe this new educational initiative has the potential to make a significant contribution to improving global healthcare by training new generations of caring professionals.”
Dr Prathap Reddy, Chairperson of the Apollo Hospitals Group, said:
“This is an extremely exciting opportunity for the Apollo group. My vision has been to match our success as the largest health care provider in India with success in establishing world-class educational institutions in India and abroad. The Crewe campus further consolidates our initiatives in India and presents a new chapter in our journey in the higher education space.”
Dr Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairman Apollo Hospital Enterprises ltd. said:
“We know that there is an urgent need for increased numbers of well-trained health care professionals across the world. I am confident that the Crewe campus will contribute significantly to achieving this goal.”
Ms Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director Apollo Hospital Enterprises ltd, said:
“This is good news for Crewe and all the partners are determined to make this work to not only enhance the health economy locally but in producing Health professionals for the whole world. I visualise the campus as a centre of excellence for healthcare training, and we will ensure that we focus on quality, evidence-based practice and world-class outcomes.”
Amanda Weston, of Crewe-based Unique CCIC, added:
“We are proud of the role we have played in helping to turn our vision for the campus into a reality. By bringing the consortium parties together we have retained an academic footprint in Crewe.
“The deal marks an ambitious international partnership that shares knowledge, best practice and innovation on a global scale bringing significant benefits to the local economy and wider region in turn.
“It also marks a major vote of confidence in the UK, with a significant overseas investment.”