HEREFORD’S new university aims to secure £500,000 in donations to financially support its first batch of students during their first year.

New Model in Technology and Engineering bosses made the announcement last Friday at the presentation of their new centre on Blackfriars Street, the former Robert Owen Academy building.

They are asking for donations of least £10,000 for the NMiTE pioneer fund which would go towards paying tuition fees and accommodation costs.

University chief executive Elena Rodriguez-Falcon said she was among those to donate.

She told the packed room that they had already secured funding for several of the students.

“Things are evolving, we are growing and that is exciting,” she said.

“We want to provide the new students with the best start as possible to their journeys at NMiTE.

“Offering the best educational experience, the best infrastructure and environment is just one way of doing that.

“But we would also like to give them a good start financially by providing them support in terms of the fees and accommodation.”

She said the university’s aim is to have a named scholarship for each of the pioneers.

“I would like to call on you for your collective support to help us support our pioneers and you will be able to follow them through their journey here.

“I am delighted to be able to support one of those pioneers with my own gift.”

Ms Rodriguez-Falcon said she was very excited that the university project was coming to fruition and thanked the people of Hereford for their support.

She also said she was convinced NMiTE would make the most of the Blackfriars Street building.

“I am convinced we can maximise its potential to make it an exciting space for our pioneers,” she said.

“The NMiTE dream is catching not just here in Hereford but we now have more than 400 expressions of interest to join the pioneer cohort and that’s amazing as we have not advertised the program yet.”

Those who support the fund will be given an opportunity to name a pioneer cohort place, a commemorative donor board and an invitation to an exclusive reception for donors to meet their sponsored student.

Residents can donate by contacting Harriet Dearden, philanthropic engagement head at the university by calling 01432 371111 or emailing