Labour’s higher education team are visiting Milton Keynes on Thursday to meet staff and students at the town’s thriving universities. Shabana Mahmood MP, Shadow Universities Minister, and Mark Leach, Chief Policy Adviser to the Shadow Cabinet, will be given a tour of the Open University and the new University Campus Milton Keynes in CMK. Andrew Pakes, Labour’s General Election candidate in MK South, invited the education team to come to the city so he could showcase the work both institutions are doing. Andrew said: “We have always been pioneers in Milton Keynes with Bletchley Park and the Open University both based in the borough. “We have an amazing network of skills providers in the city and the new UCMK campus takes us a step closer to creating our own local university. “It is great to get an opportunity to showcase our achievements in the city.” UCMK is a new partnership with the University of Bedfordshire (UoB) and provides a local higher education partnership for students and businesses. UCMK expects around 120 students to start this month. Labour’s higher education team will also meet with Open University staff and hear about their research plans, how the OU can attract new learners and how it is performing today.