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25th November 2019 - Press Release

Christ Church and Port of Dover join in partnership to support regional growth

Canterbury Christ Church University and the Port of Dover have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support their future working partnership.

The Port of Dover is Europe’s busiest ferry port, a vital international gateway for the movement of people and trade. It’s also an award-winning cruise port hosting some of the world’s most prestigious cruise lines, a successful cargo terminal and an award-winning marina. The University has a strong track record of innovation and agility, responding to regional and national market demands and has played a significant role in the Kent community for over 50 years, providing education which makes a real and positive difference to people’s lives.

The partnership will develop sustainable opportunities for Christ Church students and the Port’s staff to extend their skills and qualifications, as well as see University staff carry out research on behalf of the Port. It will also help promote the studying of STEM subjects through joint school engagement and outreach activities, such as the pioneering Primary and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards, with the aim of inspiring new generations of engineering and technology professionals to support regional growth and investment.

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “We are delighted to join with the Port of Dover to develop this strategic partnership that will not only help develop opportunities for our students and their staff to advance skills and careers, but will also contribute positively to the local community, supporting economic growth and helping to develop a skilled workforce for our region.

“Working with industry partners is integral to our new Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub, which will provide a dedicated space for Science, Technology, Health, Engineering and Medicine where students and staff can work on projects in partnership with business, as well as encourage an increase in students studying STEM subjects to assist in solving the skills shortage across Kent and the UK.”

Doug Bannister, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover, said: “As Europe’s busiest ferry port and with thriving cruise, cargo and marina businesses, a strong and diverse skill set amongst our staff is vital for the successful running of the Port. We are delighted to be working together with Canterbury Christ Church University to create new opportunities for STEM careers and to inspire the next generation of professionals within our local community.”


Notes to editors


  • The University’s EDGE Hub is a new £60million initiative that will open in September 2020. This ambitious and far reaching initiative has been designed to unlock regional economic growth and employment in engineering, science and technology sectors. For more information visit: www.canterbury.ac.uk/edgehub.
  • In November 2018 Canterbury Christ Church University was announced as the University Lead for the South East Region Primary and Secondary Engineer Leaders Award. From 2019/2020 the Port of Dover will be the competition’s Industry Lead 2019/20. The Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards ask children, 'If you were an engineer, what would you do?'. The competition celebrates the ingenuity of children from three to 19-years-old and links the schools to the University and engineering firms.


Canterbury Christ Church University

  • Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with 15,300 students across Kent and Medway. Its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
  • 93% of our most recent UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2017/18 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey

Port of Dover

  • The Port of Dover handles up to £122bn, or 17%, of the UK’s total trade in goods.
  • The Port processes 12 million passengers, 2.6 million lorries and 2.3 million tourist vehicles each year.


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