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

Gary Neville and Paul Scholes

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Gary Neville says students will be able to combine work and study at University Academy 92

Students at a university founded by members of Manchester United’s “Class of 92” will have classes either in the morning or afternoon so they can work alongside their studies.

Ex-United captain Gary Neville said it would be an alternative to “erratic” schedules at other universities.

University Academy 92 will offer degrees in sport, media and business, validated by Lancaster University.

Each student will also have their own personal development coach.

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.

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.

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University Academy 92 will offer sport, media and business courses

“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.

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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