Merger discussions between London Guildhall University and the University of North London are being extended due to uncertainty over financial forecasts, writes Cherry Canovan .
The final decision will be taken in December, rather than October as originally intended. The two governing bodies will meet in October to decide whether to give agreement in principle. Final approval will not be given until the institutions' 2000-01 accounts have been examined.
The joint committee set up to consider the merger said it would recommend that the boards approve the merger in principle.
In a statement, the universities said: "The work over the summer has been extremely useful and encouraging but has made clear that more detailed work bringing together the various strategic ideas that have emerged and their financial aspect would be helpful."
Greg Barnett, branch secretary of lecturers' union Natfhe at LGU, said that financial reservations had delayed the decision.
He said: "The forecasts that have been produced by UNL are more optimistic than those produced by LGU." He said that UNL was more optimistic about future growth of student numbers.
Mr Barnett said Natfhe did not necessarily oppose the merger, but could not support it until several questions had been answered.
"We don't want to see a merger go ahead that will end up with job losses because of a poor financial situation," he said.
He said the union wanted a clearer picture of the new academic offering and structure and the management structure.