Bradford University academics have called for a referendum on whether their institution should merge with a neighbouring further education college, writes Alison Utley.
An extraordinary meeting of the university's main representative body, known as the assembly, voted on Monday in favour of a referendum motion tabled by 30 academics who oppose merger with Bradford College. They are concerned about the impact on teaching and research standards following a damning Quality Assurance Agency report on the college.
The referendum is being carried out by email on Wednesday and Thursday. It may come too late to influence the merger decision, which was due to be taken late last night during separate meetings of the university's and the college's governing bodies.
The merger was first mooted a year ago when Leeds academic Chris Taylor took over as vice-chancellor at Bradford University. He envisaged creating a new type of modern civic university offering the broadest range of qualifications available in the sector.
"We are perfectly positioned to deliver a unique model of education that is a new vision of both higher and further education," he said.
Both institutions suffered from the effects of last summer's riots in Bradford, which hit student applications.