Staffordshire said the decision was taken partly to provide the best student experience in light of “competition in the university sector”. The university expects a “reduction in staffing” from the merger of the two campuses.
The decision was taken at a special meeting of the board of governors to consider the future of the university’s estate, currently divided between Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent.
At present, around 2,750 of the university’s total 14,400 students are taught at the Beaconside campus in Stafford.
Michael Gunn, the Staffordshire vice-chancellor, said the university had “consulted widely” on the move. “What we know is that students generally show a preference for an edge of city campus with brilliant learning and teaching facilities, good public transport links and social activities – all of which we have in Stoke-on-Trent,” he said.
Professor Gunn, who is also chair of the Million+ group of newer universities, added: “It makes economic sense and will enable us to give our students the best possible student experience. Competition in the university sector has never been higher and we need to put ourselves in the best possible position to attract students to our excellent courses.”
The university said that although timescales are “still to be determined”, it will be looking to vacate the Beaconside campus by 2016 at the latest.
However, nursing and midwifery courses will continue to be taught at a separate site in Stafford.
The university will now embark on a “masterplanning phase” which will determine the investment needed to allow the Stoke campus to accommodate more students.
Mark Hattersley, director of finance and infrastructure said: “Many jobs will transfer with the students although we do anticipate there will be a reduction in staffing associated with the merger of two campuses and we will be meeting with staff and unions as the plans are developed.”