Government minister visits Hatfield uni campus

THE Government minister for universities came to Hatfield this week, to see what higher education in Hertfordshire has to offer.

Conservative MP David Willetts visited the University of Hertfordshire’s de Havilland Campus for a tour of the facility and to hear about how the uni embeds employability into its courses.

The minister for universities and science was shown around the school of engineering and technology and the school of physics, astronomy and mathematics, before heading to the new �10m law court building, opened last year.

There, he visited the building’s full-scale courtroom, where he listened to a mock trial played out by current law students.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times was invited to the “trial” on Wednesday and afterwards spoke to Mr Willetts about his visit.

“I always enjoy visiting universities,” he said.

“I’ve seen a range of things today. I’ve seen students building cars for Formula One racing, and I’ve seen astronomers producing international work and using that to interest young people in science.

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“It’s very important young people feel that by doing their degree they’ve got a reasonable chance of getting a job afterwards.”

Mr Willetts’ visit took place in the same week that the Government published a report by the University of Hertfordshire’s former vice-chancellor Sir Tim Wilson into business and university collaboration.

Mr Willetts said: “I asked Tim Wilson to do a report on how we could strengthen links between universities and businesses, because the University of Hertfordshire has a national reputation as a leader of this.

“He’s produced a whole range of ideas we’re now considering.

“It’s as I would expect – it’s a really good piece of work.”