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Students don't like Stafford claims University boss

By Stone Edition  |  Posted: December 16, 2013

By Gail Atkinson

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Comments (17)

STAFFORD'S business community has branded consultations over a possible university move to Stoke "a joke".

Owners and chief executives staged an 11th hour bid to keep Staffordshire University in the town at a meeting on Tuesday.

With the deadline for a decision on whether or not to move the university to Stoke or retain a presence in Stafford six weeks away, the borough's business leaders wanted answers to how the decision would be made and what had been considered.

A review started in January and a decision will be made at the end of next month over the future of the Stafford campus, which has 2,500 students.

Mark Hattersley, the university's director of finance and infrastructure, assured business bosses from Stafford Chamber of Commerce it was not a done deal but some were not convinced.

But he said students had said they didn't want to come to Stafford.

"The big consensus that came out of student data was they didn't like this campus. It's too remote and there's no life, no vibrancy."

He said: "We are rattling around in our buildings. We don't fill them and it's unlikely in the current environment we can grow into that estate.

"One of the problems we have on this campus is its remoteness from the city centre. Some students like a nice quiet campus but the average feedback is that it's too quiet, too remote. We have got no feedback from students who want to move from Stoke. Some want to go to Stoke, some want to stay here.

"The big consensus that came out of student data was they didn't like this campus. It's too remote and there's no life, no vibrancy. I can't go against the data. It demonstrates far more students will travel from here to Stoke for the night life. Students have told us they don't want to come here."

He added current Stafford students would be unaffected but next year's intake could face a move to Stoke if they start at Stafford.

Andrew Bramhall, who co-owns Beacon business park, said: "This is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"This consultation process is a bit of a joke and I think we deserve better than that."

Karen Armitage, chief executive of Stafford and Rural Homes, said: "My concern is the decision takes no account whatsoever of the big investment coming to the town centre. The town is completely changing. Part of its attraction is that it has a hospital and a university and both are now under threat.

After the meeting Tim Jobson, president of Stafford Chamber of Commerce, said: "We are concerned it's a done deal. He assures us it isn't but it seems things have gone so far down the road. However we are hopeful the meeting will give the university positive food for thought."

Ray Barnett said: "I'm suspicious. What are they doing consulting us when it's six weeks from the decision. We called this meeting, the chamber of commerce. If the university goes it will have a hell of an impact on the night-time economy such as restaurants, bars and pubs whether students are employed there or spend their money there.

"A lot of small businesses have started up because of the university being here."

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17 comments

  • NioXen  |  December 16 2013, 7:02PM

    I specifically chose Stafford campus for the atmosphere. I specifically didn't want to study at a city university and I feel as though if we are forced to move it will have a negative impact on many of the students who chose this university for that exact reason. I understand why some people may want to move to stoke, whether it's the night life, female to male ratio or anything like that, I feel that the emphasis at the end of the day should be on the learning and studies of the students. It sounds incredibly short sighted but there is nothing stopping you from going for a weekend away to a city or a night out. The facilities at Stafford campus are (in my opinion) excellent for the courses they teach and I don't feel as though a move to Stoke would improve any of this (other than possibly the social aspects that people have mentioned already). Just my opinion :)

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  • matteusbeus  |  December 16 2013, 5:21PM

    As an ex Staffs student who did both a Degree and Masters, I can fully understand that Stafford hasn't got the greatest night life but surely a university should be weighed up on its academic merits?

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  • That_Guy1  |  December 16 2013, 9:46AM

    Firstly, I've never been asked if I liked Stafford Uni, like so many others I hear, so no idea where this and the contradicting article got their facts. Secondly, I DO NOT like Stafford campus. (I am assuming here but) most people who are 'outraged' (more like marginally peeved) are probably first years or the prospective students who do not know how bad it is. I wont take credit away from the lecturers, most of them do a grand job especially as the syllabus for my course has been...uninspiring. Stafford itself, is a nice place but that's not the problem; it's the people who attend and I'm sorry to say but what makes a Uni experience is the people you meet and the journey you take with them, no matter how nice the Uni is (which Stafford isn't THAT nice). Unfortunately, and I put it down to the types of courses that are segregated at the Stafford campus, the majority of people are antisocial, inconsiderate and selfish (and unhygienic to say the least) which made me feel very isolated. Thankfully I had met a handful of decent people (theres always a minority right?) and I will treasure those memories but later on when people ask which Uni i went to, I will not feel proud to say "I went to Stafford."

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  • That_Guy1  |  December 16 2013, 9:42AM

    Firstly, I've never been asked if I liked Stafford Uni, like so many others I hear, so no idea where this and the contradicting article got their facts. Secondly, I DO NOT like Stafford campus. (I am assuming here but) most people who are 'outraged' (more like marginally peeved) are probably first years or the prospective students who do not know how bad it is. I wont take credit away from the lecturers, most of them do a grand job especially as the syllabus for my course has been...uninspiring. Stafford itself, is a nice place but that's not the problem; it's the people who attend and I'm sorry to say but what makes a Uni experience is the people you meet and the journey you take with them, no matter how nice the Uni is (which Stafford isn't THAT nice). Unfortunately, and I put it down to the types of courses that are segregated at the Stafford campus, the majority of people are antisocial, inconsiderate and selfish (and unhygienic to say the least) which made me feel very isolated. Thankfully I had met a handful of decent people (theres always a minority right?) and I will treasure those memories but later on when people ask which Uni i went to, I will not feel proud to say "I went to Stafford."

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  • lillibet  |  December 13 2013, 7:03PM

    I attended Stafford University at the Stafford Campus not long ago, I've never been asked about my experience there or feelings about the campus. Personally I think the campus is very convenient for local student housing, short walk and even shorted direct bus route from the on campus bus stop to the town centre and clubs/pubs. The campus itself is very pretty and modern and was an amazing place to learn and socialise in. All this in contrast to the stoke campus which is spread out in dull buildings in a dull suburb of stoke, full of smog and very unattractive compared to the beautiful open space and countryside of Stafford. The Stoke campus is also much further away from shopping or clubbing centres in stoke. I think if a true survey was taken of the students at the Stafford Campus the results would be much different.

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  • alitatz08  |  December 13 2013, 5:55PM

    I am currently attending stafford university and not once have myself or any of the people i know been asked if we like it at stafford campus. If i knew at the start of my course that i would have to study at stoke campus i would never of came to university. Stoke is overcrowded all ready at the moment having students to attend two hours early to get a car parking space and just goes to show that already there having to spend money to get it look representable. I am not interested in the night life the reason i pay 9 grand a year is to get a good course and result in a degree. Everywhere you go and people ask what course you are doing straight away they know your at stafford. Stafford has a brilliant reputation and your going to take everything its earnt away from it!

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  • mcdjd  |  December 13 2013, 4:12PM

    Just graduated this year from Stafford Campus so I feel I have a valid opinion. When I started in my first year Stafford campus was quiet but still somewhat Ok, since they introduced the higher University fee's Stafford campus became a ghost town. The entire of Beaconside village (One of the student accommodation areas) went from being full of students to literally no students living there, it was horrible. Not to mention the horrible ratio of male to female, and this isn't coming from someone who wants there to be loads of girls to "get with" or anything like that. It is just massively demoralising knowing that there are hardly any women to talk to, or be around on Stafford campus. This view was shared by from what I gather 90% of the male population on the campus. Now moving the campus to Stoke would be a big decision but it would improve student satisfaction by a huge amount. Not to mention students on the stafford campus currently travel to either Stoke or Birmingham for a decent night out. If the campus is moved to Stoke I am well and truly with the decision simply for the sake of the students University life being what they expect.

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  • alsobubbly  |  December 13 2013, 9:41AM

    I graduated from the Stafford campus just over 2 and half years ago and I wouldn't have gone to Staffordshire University if it had been at Stoke. Stoke campus is overcrowded and parking is a nightmare, having more students there will only make the situation worse. Stafford is a lovely place to live and I am still living there even though I work an hour away in Burton. It will kill the town if the university was to move as it's what keeps the town going. The only thing the campus lacked was the night life which Stoke and other universities seem to get right. That might have something to do with the union not listening to what the students wanted on at the union so everyone stopped going and went into town instead (which was often cheaper too). Please don't move my memories to Stoke, it would be a really shame to lose it.

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  • sam_benne  |  December 13 2013, 7:36AM

    I am currently doing my degree at Stafford and the reason for me to do my degree there was that I was told it was a great place to do the degree. But I have been to Stoke Campus and I can say it is far better. Even though Stafford campus is the main computing campus it is lacking in comparison to Stoke. To be honest I like Stafford but would rather be at Stoke. We would benefit more from the University as they can put more money into a single place than spreading it across to. There would be a more diverse group of people to meet. As long as they can handle the extra amount of students needing living space then I think it would be great to combine the two campuses.

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  • Pendtoni  |  December 12 2013, 9:21PM

    https://http://tinyurl.com/qa65hyj Just to show you in contrast to your story "Students don't like Stafford claims University boss" published today. This page was created today after seeing the article around half 4 this afternoon and we've already generated over 400 likes support for the Stafford Campus. Please take some time to look at it and view some of the posts from students of Stafford campus. Thank you

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