Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday 8th March, Sir Robert Buckland KBE QC MP introduced a “Ten Minute Rule” Bill that aims to see Institutes of Technology (IOTs) be granted a Royal Charter.
In plainer English, this means an Institute of Technology (IOT) would be on the same kind of footing as a University if this Bill is successful.
I have uploaded a copy of Sir Robert’s speech to Parliament on the topic, which also acts as a good explainer on what IOTs offer for an area.
The good news is that Redditch hopes to get an IOT on the site of the current police station when it moves up the road to the new joint fire and police hub. If the new ‘Innovation Hub’ does indeed earn IOT status it will in effect be like the Borough of Redditch getting a mini University for itself, which is an interesting and inspiring concept. Even if our IOT is actually a branch or extension of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull IOT for instance, I think that would be a win for the town.
Redditch is too small to host a full university at around 85,000 people. Our industrial base is also something that would be attractive to an IOT. In short, an IOT with a Royal Charter could well be just what the town needs to start delivering level 4 and 5 qualifications in a range of topics from automation to robotics and drones.
It’s a Ten Minute Rule Bill well worth supporting!
Here’s more about what an IOT does – and there’s also a dedicated website: