London Met to focus teaching on single campus

Teaching on its Aldgate and Moorgate campuses will be moved to Holloway Road from 2017

October 12, 2015
John Raftery
John Raftery, vice-chancellor of London Met

London Metropolitan University is to consolidate its teaching at a single campus in North London.

The university will invest a total of £125 million in its main Holloway Road campus in Islington, as it brings all its faculties together on one site for the first time, it announced on 12 October.

Its visual arts, architecture, business and law courses are currently taught in buildings at Aldgate and Moorgate.

“We are excited about this project, which aims to create a one-campus, one-community university in Holloway,” said John Raftery, London Met’s vice-chancellor.

“We believe this will benefit our students, who will enjoy an enhanced student experience, and our staff, who will have more opportunities to collaborate,” Professor Raftery added.

The move to one campus will be staged over several years, starting from September 2017, the university said.

It will be accompanied by a curriculum review and significant investment in facilities at Holloway, with £125 million to be spent on the estate and new IT projects.

London Met said that the move had been driven by student feedback, with joint research involving the students’ union earlier this year showing that 65 per cent of London Met students said that they would prefer a one-campus university, citing an enhanced student community and more opportunities for collaboration as key benefits.

Obie Opara, president of London Met’s Students’ Union, said that students will “welcome this decision and the long-term benefits it will bring”.

“We are excited by the prospect of a one-campus, one-community university, where all students can interact and learn from one another and have access to the same facilities and the best student experience,” Mr Opara said.

“We also know that this may cause concerns for some students, particularly those at the Aldgate and Moorgate sites,” he added, saying that the university and the students’ union would “continue to work with students across all sites to ensure their voice is central to the development of this plan, ensuring a smooth transition and creating a more sustainable London Met”.

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Reader's comments (3)

I am the students union officer for the CASS faculty, and "we" are not excited by this betrayal decision from facts that were manipulated to make this happen without the opinions of Aldgate and Moorgate students. Listen to my rap about what this really is!
You couldn't make it up. After years of misery ever since two V-Cs (one now long shamed and discredited, the other amazingly knighted) first sat down in a conference side-room shortly after the millennium to plan on the back of a fag packet the uncommercial merger of North London University and London Guildhall University, the wretched unitary institution that resulted has shrunk from 25,000+ students to under half that. As a result, what remains of the former London Guildhall operation will now be closed down entirely in a desultory centralisation project. North London has eventually won - as if anybody cares about that now, except for one hot-headed and poisonous schoolkeeper. Further losses in student recruitment at this university are foreseen elsewhere as bottoming out at the conveniently round figure of 10,000, although this additional drop is now posited as planned change at a university that will select (the hubris is hilarious) rather than rely on clearing. Which means there will soon be some short-term cuts to poorly recruiting/performing courses. Well, it won't bottom out there. It will carry on southwards into single figures. That's because many students on successful courses at the Aldgate and Moorgate campuses will transfer via APL to other universities in 2016 and 2017, rather than move to the infamous Holloway Road dump, no matter how much money is spent on it. To deconstruct the PR puff Jack Grove has drawn on here, let's be clear that only a few students who could be bothered were consulted over centralisation at the City campus. That's because the project timed and trailed its consultation to make maximum use of student inertia (boring email message in inbox, coinciding with assessments, etc, etc). So the 65% quoted will be the 2 or more students who could be bothered to attend at the Holloway campus, and who unsurprisingly just preferred the arrangement they had already! Nothing unusual in UK academia - simply the mechanisms for democracy and transparency being used in a machiavel way to progress autocratic projects in camera. The only thing is, the lesson still hasn't been learned. It's pretend data, got up to support what is still a vanity project. Generations of people (especially the young) are really sick of being treated like this. The predictable Stalinist slogan is 'One campus. One community.' (pause first to retch, then to projectile vomit). More like 'Monocampus. Monoculture. Monotony'. More of the same top-down thinking from 2 or 3 overpaid administrators who see themselves as tough guys. They won't see that in the mirror when their project finishes in yet more failure, which it will. But they'll have stashed away several mill in salary and pension, just like the last ones, and the ones before. Shameful. The whole 13 year saga since 2002 stinks, fanned by the dying gusts of an era of centrist politics. It's too late for London Metropolitan University. Don't listen to the slogan. Don't buy the story. Don't invest anything in it - neither money nor time. The best thing now is for this government to dissolve it next June and let the surrounding institutions benefit from higher numbers, instead.
It started long before the merger. I can trace appallingly low standards at North London back to long before that. Thirty years ago it was seen as a poor institution. Leslie Wagner did nothing to improve things. The Business School appointed as its new Dean a man more suited to selling dodgy motors. When he left he was replaced by a bullying egotist whose concern was never anything but self aggrandisement who later was replaced by a spineless poodle of the then VC (the one who was discredited). I wonder how many more millions of pounds will be wasted before it is allowed to die or it is put out of its misery? Rob Slack

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