Britain's first new city-centre campus for 25 years will upstage its sister institution until it becomes established, its vice chancellor admitted last week.
The Queen officially opens the Pounds 32 million Lincoln campus of the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside today. A second Pounds 26 million phase of building work will provide student shops and entertainment areas, a library, teaching and administration blocks, science labs and a sports centre.
University vice chancellor Roger King said Lincoln was likely to absorb most of the university's resources for the next few years.
"We don't want to ignore our Hull campus and we want to take care of staff and students there, but at this time in our history this project has to take priority," he said.
Plans are already afoot to close the university's Grimsby campus, which will transfer its 800 students to Lincoln in 1999. Another 3,000 students will transfer in the same year from Hull.
The two campuses are being marketed separately, with Lincoln promoted as an old-style institution offering traditional subjects such as economics and law while Hull will concentrate on technology.
Professor King described it as a modern corporation developing two distinct brands, although Lincoln could become independent.
Lecturers are less happy with the arrangement. Lecturers' union Natfhe claims managers are using the Hull campus as a "cash cow" subsidising Lincoln. They say seminar sizes have increased, contracts for part-time staff have not been renewed and staff feel pressured to move to the new campus. A dispute over journey times for staff between Hull and Lincoln has gone to the arbitration service, ACAS.
Professor King said the university wanted Hull to be the best of new universities with wide access, multi-disciplinary emphasis, more teaching and learning than research, strong links with further education and added value in an urban setting. Lincoln would be more of a 1960s development like York or Bath. "It is a cathedral city and historic location that is always attractive to those wanting to study particular subjects and it is likely to appeal to school-leavers with A levels more than Hull which appeals to people with a wider set of qualifications."