Is there no end to their talents
Property, regeneration? restaurants and of course a football, but now the Class of 92 are turning their talents to higher education.
Gary Neville, brother Phil, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes and are launching University Academy 92.
The university, which will be named, UA92 will be set up on the site of the former Kellogg’s cereals headquarters in Stretford, part of Lancaster University and will teach courses in sport, media and business.
The University and the five along with Trafford council have now been joined in the partnership by Microsoft, property services firm Bruntwood and Trafford College.
The project also has the support of Manchester United Football Club and Lancashire County Cricket Club and will offer students paid placements in business while developing their personal and academic abilities.
Commenting on the launch, Gary Neville said: “I have always believed that success is down to more than just having talent and good luck. There should be no limits to what you can achieve with the right preparation. Our aim is that UA92 graduates would leave with an academic qualification, of course, but also with a range of other skills such as how to deal with pressure, understand finance, leadership and presentational skills, and also how to maintain a healthy body and mind. In other words, the complete package you need to succeed in the workplace.”
The project has the support of their former mentor and former Manchester United Football Club manager Sir Alex Ferguson CBE.
Sir Alex said: “I want to wish Gary, Nicky, Ryan, Paul and Phil good luck as they embark on a commendable project that demonstrates their commitment to giving something back to the community that played such a formative role in their lives. It is a project with great potential and I hope that their efforts make a genuine difference and provide opportunities in life for those that otherwise would not have been given a chance to realise their potential.”
Professor Mark E Smith, the Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, added: “We were very interested in the ideas presented by the Class of 92 because they matched closely with a number of things Lancaster already does very well, particularly innovation, widening participation and employability. We therefore felt we could make a strong contribution to a project which seeks to do things differently. This is a good time to test the appetite for a venture of this nature for two reasons. Firstly, the government wishes to open up the Higher Education marketplace to new and innovative ways of delivery. Secondly, businesses are becoming increasingly interested in how Higher Education can prepare students for working life. This project is designed to address both of those ideas head on.”
Sean Anstee, the Leader of Trafford Council, commented: “We will now proceed to the public consultation phase of the project and see what local people think of the idea. In my view it presents a fantastic opportunity to revitalise and support our local communities. It will create jobs and attract 6,500 students to the borough by 2028. Trafford already has some of the best performing schools in the country, as well as a rich and successful history of sport and business, so it is an ideal home for this new and exciting education initiative. With Manchester United Football Club, Lancashire County Cricket Club and Media City on our doorstep not to mention more than 11,000 businesses, UA92 students will find it an inspirational location in which to study.”