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University campus in closure threat

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

Comments (10)

STAFFORD could lose thousands of students under a major review which could see Staffordshire University close its town campus.

University staff have been asked for their views on the two main options for its future - keeping two campuses or moving everything to Stoke.


Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy has pledged to fight "tooth and nail" to keep the campus in Stafford.

The recession, falling student num- bers in the wake of higher fees, and government demands have all been blamed for the review. One lecturer says the town would become a ghost town if the campus, which provides courses in nursing, IT and sciences, closes.

Michael Gunn, the university's vice chancellor told staff investment was available but it was not unlimited.

In an email to staff he said: "Historically, we have always been based at our two main campuses in Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent," he said.

"This is one option for the future. There are also good financial argu- ments for doing as other institutions, have done and consolidating our long-term investments in a single, expanded campus in Stoke-on-Trent.

“Before we commit significant sums to new investment, we need, to con- sider carefully how any money should best be spent. There is money avail- able for investment but it is not unlimited.

“Both of our main campuses are in need of refurbishment, and the deci- sion we reach will have significant long-term implications on the oppor- tunities we are able to explore in the future."

Deputy vice chancellor Paul Richards admitted there could be job losses among the 455 staff if the campus were to close.

But he said: “It’s really, really early days yet. We are just at the options stage.”

One lecturer, who did not want to be named, said: "With all the empty stu- dent houses, the jobs being lost at the university and the students no longer shopping in the town it's hard to see how Stafford could avoid becoming a ghost town - about 3,000 students would disappear overnight."

Steve Burgin, chair of the board of governors, said: "At the moment dif- ferent options are being evaluated. My primary objective is to make sure we have an institution that's sustainable and has a future. Things like this won't happen overnight - we are setting out a long-term plan.”

Mr Lefroy said: "I will fight it tooth and nail. It's extremely important the campus remains in Stafford. I shall be making the strongest possible repre- sentations to the university that the two campus solution is both viable and in fact vital for them.

"I'm very concerned about this."

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  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 29 2013, 9:39AM

    Stafford is already becoming a ghost town with lots of shop closures in the town center. the closure of the campus would be a disaster for the town.

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  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 25 2013, 12:28PM

    There seems to be so much more money about in stoke these days. If you're running a business in stoke there are grants for anything, whilst stafford buisnesses qualify for nothing. Pre-school education settings get almost 25% more funding in stoke, I guess it's the same for FE too.

  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 24 2013, 10:47PM

    Both towns NEED their campuses, and perhaps this situation is the early whirlwind of the (negative) legacy of excessively-high student fees?

  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 24 2013, 10:47PM

    Both towns NEED their campuses, and perhaps this situation is the early whirlwind of the (negative) legacy of excessively-high student fees?

  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 24 2013, 6:17PM

    GOOD!! I am currently a student in the stafford campus and it is already a ghost town, of all the (3000) students that go to uni in stafford I dont think there are any of us that venture out to the wonders of couture every week, and "muckyduck" being the only time you will see more than 50 students in one place, visiting stoke recently we went to the SU on a tuesday night (the only night in stoke when the NUMEROUS, not just one, clubs are open) and it was rammed!! its twice the size and that was just the lounge! Currently the music students put on an event at the SU in stafford that has about ten people show up while muckyduck is in the room next door. They took the event to stoke and saw about 150 people turn up. There are more oppertunities in stoke, for work, for musicians, for socialising, i cant wait!

  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 24 2013, 5:05PM

    The whole consultation is actually a farce. The University has already decided to close the Stafford campus. The only evidence you need to look at is the completion of building work in Stoke that means there is more space than the current students need. The Engineering school was consulted about moving to Stoke, they said they don't want to go but the school completes its move in September.

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  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 24 2013, 1:17PM

    I have heard ALL of engineering has to be in stoke and operational by sept 13, 2013 all of technology will be there in 12 months leaving IT and nursing in Stafford. Engineering students, staff and local companies have all campaigned to stay in Stafford and continue to do so to no avail, that is called listening to stakeholders! Why would they want to move to what is listed as being in the top 10 deprived areas in the uk and has been for 25 years other than tax breaks and available grants. There will be a distinct lack of housing and major traffic issues. How long will IT and nursing survive it Stafford? Perhaps a miracle might happen and the VC he has made a mistake and listen to their customers, the students, they don't want to move.

  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 24 2013, 11:59AM

    This should not be allowed.

  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 24 2013, 11:49AM

    no comment

  • Staf Newsletter  |  January 24 2013, 11:39AM