10 more universities this year if smaller colleges change status
Ten new universities may soon be created under government changes announced this week that have reduced the number of students required for university status.
The smaller higher education institutions in England are now eligible to become universities if they have more than 1,000 students - the previous qualifying level was 4,000.
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science described the change as 'tackling a long standing grievance' and added, 'It is right to remove the red tape stopping good quality smaller higher education providers calling themselves a university.'
The ten possible institutions are:
- The Arts University College at Bournemouth
- Royal Agricultural College
- Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln
- Harper Adams University College
- Leeds Trinity University College
- Newman University College
- University College Falmouth
- St Mary's University College, Twickenham
- University College Plymouth St Mark and St John
- Norwich University College of the Arts
Mr Willetts said if the colleges decided to go ahead with the change to university status it could be in place by the autumn.
Andy Westwood of Guild HE, which represents the smaller specialist institutions welcomed the announcement. He said, 'Smaller institutions have long offered greater agility, smaller classes, stronger graduate employment and better retention rates.'
More on this story on the BBC Education website