Warwick and Queen Mary Universities to Share Lecturers

Students at Warwick University and at Queen Mary, University of London are to share lecturers in what will be one of the closest alliances yet between two higher education institutions in England. Academics at the two universities will teach each other's English, history and computer science undergraduates from this autumn.

The universities will not be merging timetables in these subjects, but said this could be possible in coming years. In future, more subjects are likely to be jointly taught. The two institutions, which are 80 miles apart, will also share teams that work on increasing the diversity of their student populations, and will work together on their outreach activities in schools.

They will conduct far more research together in future and are advertising for two post-doctoral research fellow posts, one in each university, to collaborate in the history of mental health, discrete mathematics, the renaissance, and functional molecular materials. The universities denied that their "strategic partnership" would lead to a merger and said they would not be making redundancies as a result of it.

But Prof Simon Gaskell, Queen Mary's principal, said the partnership was a response to the "high level of uncertainty" that had been created by ministers reducing public funding for higher education and raising the maximum tuition fees to £9,000 a year. Both institutions will charge the maximum fees this autumn. The government has also made it more difficult to recruit overseas students, who pay higher fees than their UK peers.

Gaskell said many universities would respond to these pressures with a "fundamentally cautious approach", but that neither Queen Mary nor Warwick intended to do so. "Critical to new approaches will be the achievement of the right balance between competition and collaboration," he said.

Original source here.


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