Letter: Resist urge to merge

September 7, 2001

London Guildhall University Natfhe branch appears to have difficulty in understanding the haste with which management is pushing through the merger with the University of North London ("London merger causes anxiety", THES , August 31) with "so little time to consider its merits". The explanation is simple: the proposal has no merit.

The sole aim of mergers is to save government money. The losers are students, staff and society through cuts.

London Guildhall provost Roderick Floud has told staff there are rumours of mergers being imposed on London institutions and that it would be better for us to jump before we are pushed. Given the government's unpopularity for the damage it has inflicted on public services, it is unlikely it would dare to impose mergers.

Anyway, it does not have to because with universities mistakenly seeing themselves as businesses since the 1988 Education Act, ministers can sit back and let university heads do the dirty work for them.

But they can be stopped, and we need look no further than the successful resistance at Aston and Wimbledon to mergers with Birmingham and the London Institute.

Pat Brady
London Guildhall University

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