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Welcome Plenary - MK:U, Developing a wholly new STEM-focused university in the UK

Presenter: Professor Lynette Ryals OBE

Institution: Cranfield University

Format: Welcome Lecture

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Director, Cranfield School of Management and Chief Executive, MK:U

Lynette’s professional background is in financial services and management consultancy. She is a Fellow of the Society of Investment Professionals, Fellow of the Chartered institute of Logistics and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has an MA (Oxon), an MBA, and a PhD from Cranfield which researched how understanding customer profitability changed customer management practices in two international financial institutions. Before taking on her current role at Cranfield she was Professor of Strategic Sales and Account Management in the university’s School of Management and then Pro-Vice-Chancellor – (Education). She was also Chair of The Case Centre (2011-2017).

Lynette has two roles: Director of the School of Management and Chief Executive of MK:U. In this role she is leading the development of a proposed STEM – focused university in Milton Keynes.

Lynette was awarded an OBE in the recent New Year Honours.

Milton Keynes has long been a place with ambitions, one of which is to have its own university. While several providers have operated in or near Milton Keynes, the MK Futures 2050 Commission recognised the opportunities of a resident undergraduate population, not least for the large number of high-tech businesses in the area. Cranfield University is lead higher education partner working with Milton Keynes Council to develop the plan for MK:U, with the aim to open in 2023. Lynette will give an overview of the processes involved and talk about the opportunities and challenges of the programme.