University call

Coun Peter Box
Coun Peter Box

AMBITIOUS plans for a university in the district have been suggested by Wakefield Council chiefs.

Council leader Peter Box said it was time to make a “strong case” for a higher education institute in Wakefield – but he added that even though students were achieving good GCSE results, skill levels were low.

He said: “We are the only city in the country without a university – that’s not good enough. So we should be seeking university status.

“It might take five, six, seven years, but we have got to start somewhere and say this is what we want.

“But it’s clear to me the area we are hugely behind in is skill levels.”

The council hopes to work with Wakefield College – which offers some university level courses – and businesses to set up apprenticeships to help give students the skills they need to move onto higher education and employment.

Sam Wright, principal of Wakefield College, said: “The college backs the campaign to have a dedicated university centre in Wakefield and we are committed to increasing the level of higher education across the district.”

Bretton Hall, a University of Leeds campus in Wakefield, closed in 2007.