New university plan lives

June 2, 1995

Contrary to the assertion in Alison Utley's article on the front page last week (THES, May 26) plans for an independent University of Lincolnshire have not been scrapped. They have been given a new lease of life.

The Project Company for the University of Lincolnshire was established in 1992 with the twin objectives of raising public support for the concept of a University for Lincolnshire, and of raising the capital to establish such a university with a new campus in Lincoln. A target launch date of September 1996 was set, with 500 students on the Lincoln campus. Those objectives and that target remain. The Project Company has established support for the concept throughout the historic county of Lincolnshire among industrialists, educationalists, local politicians and the general community. Lincolnshire is a community that wants a university.

Through the support groups established in key locations around the county, Lincolnshire is a community which has defined the kind of university it wants. Through the generous support of industrialists and other agencies Lincolnshire is a community that has shown itself capable of providing the capital base for a university. All of this remains.

Nottingham Trent University was original chosen to work with the Project Company and tribute has been paid to the tremendous support and guidance they provided. Recently, however, it appeared that Nottingham Trent had been calling for a reduction in the project which was not in line with the express needs of the people of Lincolnshire.

The University of Humberside has a long standing commitment to the northern region of the historic county of Lincolnshire, where we already have 2,000 students studying on our programmes. The merger is in tune with the interests of the people of Lincolnshire because it builds on a strong Lincolnshire base.

The alliance also provides a chance to create a new university for an extended region covering Humberside and Lincolnshire. The Lincoln campus will not be a college of the University of Humberside as The THES suggests, but will be the Lincolnshire headquarters of the new University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. The programmes it will provide are those identified by local Lincolnshire people; the types of attendance and of study are those identified by the people of Lincolnshire; and Lincolnshire will provide members of the governing board of the university to make sure that the historic county influences the direction of the new university.

The merger provides an impetus for the project and is warmly welcomed by the various support groups within the county. Far from being "scrapped", the project for a new university for Lincolnshire is back on course for the target opening date of autumn 1996.

Roger King

Vice chancellor, University of Humberside

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