Ruskin College joins University of West London after cash crisis

Takeover will preserve ‘rich heritage’ of trade union college, say leaders

August 3, 2021
Lancaster, UK - November 30, 2011 Crowd of people outside Lancaster Town hall protesting the proposed changes to the public sector Pension plan and ongoing Government spending cuts.
Source: iStock

A college with a proud trade union history is to become part of a London university after experiencing “financial challenges”.

Oxford’s Ruskin College will join the University of West London (UWL) to ensure that its “provision is sustainable, its rich heritage is preserved, and that its future is secure”, the university said.

Ruskin, an adult learning institution offering higher and further education courses that was founded in 1899, calls itself the “home of trade union education for more than 100 years”. It describes itself as focusing on “students who either missed out on formal education or faced financial, personal, or social obstacles to further study”.

Former Labour prime minister Clement Attlee taught at Ruskin, while former Labour deputy prime minister John Prescott and ex-MP Dennis Skinner are among its alumni.

In recent years, Ruskin has faced “financial challenges”, UWL said, putting its future in doubt. There had been suggestions that it could join a consortium of local colleges, but UWL said it had been approached to take over the institution and had agreed.

UWL said the two institutions “have a history of successful cooperation and share similar values; widening participation and access to higher education being central to both institutions”.

“This is an exciting moment in the history of both Ruskin College and the University of West London. We look forward to re-energising the college so it can continue to deliver its historic mission while ensuring its learners achieve their full potential,” said Peter John, UWL’s vice-chancellor.

Jennifer Bernard, chair of UWL’s board, said the university’s vision was “to combine Ruskin’s traditions with our own deep commitment to the delivery of a genuinely exceptional education for all”.

Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.

Related articles

From the largest strike in the history of UK higher education, to the US ‘academic precariat’ looking to unionise to improve their conditions, Jack Grove assesses the changing influence of workers’ organisations

11 October