University Campus Suffolk sets sail for independence

University Campus Suffolk is to begin the process of gaining its own degree-awarding powers, its board has confirmed.

March 20, 2013

The higher education institution, set up in 2007 as a partnership between the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex, said it was seeking to move towards “a new governance structure” that it hoped would ultimately result in it being granted standalone university status.

If successful, UCS would become the first independent university in Suffolk awarding its own degrees, which are currently jointly validated by its two partner institutions.

“This proposed development is fully supported by the vice-chancellors of both the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex,” a statement issued by UCS says.

The process of gaining degree-awarding powers and university title “is likely to take a significant period of time”, it continues, with completion by “the summer of 2015 at the earliest”.

Edward Acton, chair of the UCS board and vice-chancellor at East Anglia, said: “This is clearly a significant point in the development of UCS and potentially a historic moment for both UCS and Suffolk as a whole.

“UCS has grown at a rapid pace since it opened in 2007 and now is the right time for UCS to seek to move towards independence.”

Anthony Forster, vice-chancellor at Essex, said it was “manifest destiny” for UCS to become a standalone university.

“We are very proud of our role in supporting and nurturing a new higher education institution towards securing its own degree-awarding powers and becoming an independent university,” he said.

Mike Saks, provost of UCS, added: “The decision by the UCS board to agree to this direction of travel is a clear endorsement of our ability to operate as a separate and sustainable institution and I am delighted that we have its full support for the next stage in our move to becoming a fully independent university.”

Deputy provost, Richard Lister, will lead a special group that has been set up to take the project forward.

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