2014-01-30 08:36:02 -
Staffordshire University has announced plans to deliver the majority of its courses from one main campus in Stoke-on-Trent.
The decision was reached last night at a special meeting of the Board of Governors to consider the future of the University’s estate which is currently divided between Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent.
It follows an extensive period of consultation which has included staff, students, education and local authority partners and the business community. It also takes account of an audit of the University’s teaching accommodation which has determined that the average room use is far lower than in comparative universities.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Gunn said: “This decision follows a considerable amount of work to understand how our estate is currently used. We have consulted widely
with staff and local stakeholders. We have consulted students and investigated what it is they want from a University education. What we know is that students generally show a preference for an edge of city campus with brilliant learning and teaching facilities, good public transport links and social activities – all of which we have in Stoke-on-Trent.”
“It makes economic sense and will enable us to give our students the best possible student experience. Competition in the University sector has never been higher and we need to put ourselves in the best possible position to attract students to our excellent courses.”
Although timescales are still to be determined, the University will be looking to vacate its Beaconside campus by 2016 at the latest and move all computing and entertainment technology degrees to its Stoke-on-Trent campus.
However it’s highly rated nursing and midwifery courses - which are commissioned by the NHS – and health courses like paramedic and public health are set to remain based in Stafford.
Staffordshire University Business Village, situated on Stafford Technology Park, will also be maintained as a facility to support graduates wanting to start up their own businesses in Stafford.
Chair of the Board of Governors, Steve Burgin said: “The Board of Governors has a clear responsibility to the financial sustainability of the institution. The competitive nature of higher education today, coupled with the need to be highly efficient, means we must direct our valuable resources in the most effective way towards our students. In this context, we are adapting our footprint to secure our future and that of our students.
“Staffordshire University will continue to serve the Staffordshire community by contributing to economic growth in the region which will ultimately benefit our graduates and help them find suitable employment in the county.”
The University will now embark on a Masterplanning phase which will determine timescales for the move and the investment required in Stoke-on-Trent so that the campus can comfortably accommodate more students.
Mark Hattersley, Director of Finance and Infrastructure said: “Having reached this decision, we now have a considerable amount of work to make this happen.
We will be looking to build on the successful move of our engineering provision to our Stoke campus this year and to minimise the impact on our existing students. Many jobs will transfer with the students although we do anticipate there will be a reduction in staffing associated with the merger of two campuses and we will be meeting with staff and unions as the plans are developed.”
2. History: Courses in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering have been delivered at Beaconside since 1960 when a campus for the then Staffordshire College of Technology was constructed adjacent to English Electric company’s Nelson Research Laboratories at Beaconside at a cost of £1m. In 1971, the college merged with Stoke-on-Trent College of Art and North Staffs College of Technology to form North Staffordshire Polytechnic, changing its name to Staffordshire Polytechnic in 1988. In 1992 the polytechnic was granted University status and became Staffordshire University. Engineering provision has this year relocated to the University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus as part of the University’s commitment to boosting the take up of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects amongst school leavers.
3. Student numbers: Staffordshire University has approximately 14,400 full and part time students across its Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford campuses. This includes 2,750 students based at Beaconside and a further 1,500 students on its health related courses at its Blackheath Lane site. Staffordshire University’s health courses will remain in Stafford.
After the move, the University anticipates that there will be approximately 9,300 full time students on the Stoke campus and a further 3,600 part-time and distance learning students.
4. Staff numbers: Staffordshire University has approximately 1,836 staff across its Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford campuses. This includes 413 based at Beaconside and 100 associated with its health courses at Blackheath Lane. Staffordshire University’s health courses will remain in Stafford.
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Staffordshire UniversityMaria ScrivensMedia Relations Manager01782