A merger of the Institute of Education and University College London is set to be completed by December after the institution’s governing councils gave the go-ahead for more detailed discussions.
The councils will also now carry out a due diligence process ahead of finally approving the deal at their meetings in October, according to a statement from UCL.
News of the proposed merger first surfaced in February. If it goes ahead it will make IoE the largest faculty of UCL. The two institutions began a strategic partnership in October 2012, which included research collaborations and working together on a number of issues.
Chris Husbands, director of IoE, said: “The proposed merger is potentially transformational in terms of the long-term security and growth of the Institute and I am pleased that this has been recognised by the members of the IoE council.”
Michael Arthur, president and provost of UCL, said that “all the evidence to date has confirmed” that the “world-leading research” at the IoE is “highly complementary” to many areas at UCL.
“There is genuine excitement within both institutions as we believe this planned merger will deliver significant advances in the field of social science and education, whilst further advancing the work both universities undertake to develop education across London,” he said.
Professor Arthur has previously suggested that the merger could result in job gains rather than losses because of increased investment in staff and new activities.
When he spoke to Times Higher Education in February, he described the merger as “growing excellence” not “asset stripping”, adding that it would improve research, teaching and other activities at both institutions.