Class of 92: Ex-Man Utd stars’ uni will be ‘game-changer’

Politics
Gary Neville and Paul Scholes
Image caption Gary Neville says students will be able to combine work and study at University Academy 92

A university set up by some of Manchester United’s “Class of 92” plans to schedule classes so that students can work alongside their courses.

Lectures at University Academy 92 will be given in flexible four-hour slots, ex-United captain Gary Neville said.

He said the timetable would be an alternative to “erratic” schedules at other universities.

Degrees in sport, media and business will be validated by Lancaster University.

The Stretford-based university, in a former Kellogg’s site not far from Old Trafford, is the brainchild of Neville, his brother Phil, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

They hope it will be a “game-changer” for the career prospects of young people, especially those from non-academic backgrounds.

Image caption University Academy 92 will offer sport, media and business courses

Gary Neville said a flexible four hours of studying on four days a week would enable students to work at the same time in their preferred careers.

“You go to school in a very structured way and when you are just about to embark on the most important part of your life you end up with this erratic programme, where you might do one hour one day or two hours another day and nothing the next day,” he said.

The footballers said they wanted to foster the ethos of The Cliff – United’s training ground in the 1990s – at the university.

Each student will also have their own personal development coach.

The Class of 92 all came through United’s youth system and broke into the first team together.

They hope the personal development coaches will replicate the impact mentors including ex-United players Nobby Stiles and Brian Kidd, as well as youth coach Eric Harrison and Sir Alex Ferguson, had on their careers.

“That’s what we’re trying to do at the university – giving the students someone they can go to in confidence,” said Butt.

Scholes added: “We hope we can set them on the right path – we’ll be around the place to give our experiences.”

The first intake in September will number about 300 but ultimately the group hope there will be 6,000 students.

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