Col­lege sites ‘will be safe’ af­ter merger

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

NO SITES will be closed fol­low­ing the merger of South and West Kent Col­leges.

The com­mit­ment to re­tain all five cam­puses came from the prin­ci­pal of the merged col­lege, Bill Fearon, and Adam Lin­coln, re­gional of­fi­cer of the Uni­ver­sity and Col­lege Union (UCU).

But they ad­mit­ted there will be changes re­sult­ing from the merger, which took ef­fect on March 31.

In a joint state­ment they said: “We are pleased to con­firm there was no truth in spec­u­la­tion that sites would be closed.

“There will be a sus­tained cam­paign to in­crease stu­dent en­rol­ment, par­tic­u­larly across the old South Kent Col­lege sites.”

Mr Fearon and Mr Lin­coln said they would be com­bin­ing the strengths of the two col­leges and build­ing on them.

They ac­knowl­edged that the im­pact of fund­ing cuts, sep­a­rate from any merger is­sues, would re­sult in changes.

But they said there was a com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing a full range of fur­ther and higher ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses at all five cam­puses at Folke­stone, Ash­ford, Dover, Ton­bridge and Tun­bridge Wells.

A new name for the merged col­lege will be an­nounced in Septem­ber.

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