The Class of ’92 have been busy since hanging up their football boots and their latest venture comes in the form of a ‘new model’ of university.
University Academy ’92 (UA92) is the brainchild of Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, who believe you shouldn’t leave uni with ‘just a piece of paper’.
Understandably, their ‘game-changing’ project has the backing of their former club, Manchester United, and neighbouring Lancashire County Cricket Club, both of which will be right on its doorstep.
Gary spoke to UNILAD about the exciting plans and told us how well they all did in their own school days. Watch the full interview below:
UA92, which will open in 2019, is part of Lancaster University and has the backing of Trafford Council, with the aim to attract students who may not have gone on to higher education.
As well as offering 'broader courses than traditional degrees', they want to help people enhance their life skills, as well as making them more employable - setting them up for life after uni.
Gary said he'd always held the belief success is 'down to more than just having talent and good luck', telling UNILAD:
It's exciting because Manchester United and Old Trafford have been very good to us so it'll be good to put something back into the local area.
Below are the plans for the new campus:
Courses will include business, sport and media and technology giants Microsoft will be partnered up with the university. Property services firm Bruntwood, along with Trafford College, are big names already behind the plans.
The courses will all be in business, media and sport, purely because I think we needed to ensure the university stuck to areas where we're strong, we've obviously got a lot of business interest, we've obviously got a sporting interest and a lot of us are in the media.
You know, I work with Sky, Paul works with BT, Phil works with BBC and various other sports media organisations and Ryan works with ITV, so across the board we're covering the whole of the broadcasting spectrum.
Gary said he, Phil, Nicky, Ryan and Paul will be involved in some way, using their experience to benefit the students.
I think more from a mentoring point of view in life experience, I think there's a big part for us to play in that side but not from a point of teaching or anything like that.
I think we'll definitely share our experiences - good and bad!
Exciting plans for Manchester - a game-changing sport, media & business university led by the Class of '92! Brought to you by @gneville2 #Classof92 @lancasteruni #TraffordCouncil @microsoft @TraffordCollege #achieve #determined #determination #success #makeithappen #Manchester #university #students #studentlife #garyneville #manchesterunited #DoubleTap #trafford #mufc #MondayMotivation #manutd
A statement from Ryan Giggs on the UA92 website reiterates the uni's values:
There’s more to success than timing and talent. Here at UA92, we believe tenacity, preparedness, passion and hard work play an equally important role.
Add commitment, inner fire and the right preparation and you can compete at a level far beyond your inborn potential – delivering the presentation of a lifetime, performing in front of the camera, or chairing the board.
Introducing University Academy 92! Gary Neville, the Class of '92, Lancaster Uni & Trafford Council are planning a new university in Trafford, Manchester! ➡️ www.UA92.ac.uk
Posted by University Academy 92 on Wednesday, 20 September 2017
UA92 students will have the opportunity to gain paid work placements within a business or organisation, which will be included as an 'integral part of their studies'.
So how did the 'Class of '92' get on at school?
GCSE-wise I got six, I think Phil got eight, Ryan, Nicky and Paul were, I think, in the weeds somewhere, just I don't know where, but none.
Between none and one and two probably I would imagine?
That's not to say they weren't intelligent, they're very intelligent individuals, but just academically, they were distracted by football.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said he thinks UA92 will be a 'fantastic addition' to the city's portfolio of 'higher education establishments', adding:
Manchester already has huge appeal to prospective students and this particular University offer opens up a whole new audience for us and opens up new avenues for economic growth and regeneration.
I'm proud we can offer such a high profile, unique and holistic approach to education and it's Manchester once again leading the way, breaking new ground and securing a successful future for many young people.
For more information and to pre-register for a place at UA92 visit the official website here.