Multiple solution

November 26, 2015

The recent article “Has the multi-campus university had its day?” is a fashion statement (19 November).

The use of terms such as “criminal”, “short-sighted” and “disgrace” by critics of London Metropolitan University’s one-campus plan to uproot the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design from Aldgate, refers to a threat. There is a constellation of civic as well as educational values at stake. These are not addressed by such vacuous descriptors as “gleaming”, “stylish” and “hum”, which are normally used to recommend shopping arcades.

There is a big difference between a plan “appear[ing] to make good financial sense” and constructing a functional, collegiate university with a social purpose. Middlesex University’s abandoned plans to rebuild its Tottenham campus entailed abandoning a community and its hopes for the future. Estates do not just comprise “ageing, tired buildings”, or inherited assets ripe for disposal, they also entail civic and community responsibilities, and decades of public investment – a fact recognised in planning law.

London Met straddles two equally important areas of the city. A two-campus solution is, very arguably, a better fit. Or should the views of all the local East End stakeholders just be brushed aside?

Helen Mallinson
Director of Cass culture and course leader for critical and contextual studies
London Metropolitan University

Send to

Letters should be sent to:

Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday. View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Lecturer/Assistant Professor of Psychology UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)
Lecturer/Assistant Professor of Geography UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)
Lecturer/Assistant Professor of Economics UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)
Lecturer/Assistant Professor (BDIC) UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)
Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Social Work UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck