MANCHESTER Metropolitan University will be withdrawing from its campus in Crewe, it was announced today.
MMU has been undertaking a review of the long-term future of academic provision at its Cheshire campus.
Last November the University’s Board of Governors endorsed a recommendation to withdraw from the campus.
Following a collective consultation with staff trade unions, this decision to move ahead with the withdrawal has been confirmed at a meeting of the board today.
This campus will close in the summer of 2019. The news puts the jobs of around 400 members of staff at risk.
Professor Malcolm Press, the University’s Vice-Chancellor said the university is looking to ‘minimise’ job losses.
He said: “The University is committed to providing help and support to its staff through what will be a difficult period. Our aim is to minimise job losses as much as we can.
We are also committed to continuing to deliver courses to those students who are already enrolled at the campus.
“We will be working closely with staff, students and stakeholders over the coming months to ensure we deliver on our commitments.
“We remain open to any potential opportunities for transfer of the Cheshire campus to other institutions.”
The Vice-Chancellor said the decision to withdraw is down to declingin student numbers.
He said: “Manchester Metropolitan University is operating in a highly competitive environment and we have seen the impact of that at our campus in Crewe.
“In contrast to our Manchester campus, student numbers have fallen at Crewe by 45 per cent in the last five years and the financial position of that campus has declined – and is predicted to continue to do so, with a deficit of £10.7 million expected by 2020.
“For the existing campus at Crewe to be considered sustainable, it would require around double the number of students it currently has.”
Mr Press said the decision was not take lightly, but claimed the campus was ‘academically and financially unsustainable’.
“The decision to withdraw from, and close, the campus is one that we haven’t taken lightly – and one that we take with deep regret.
“I appreciate the impact it will have on our colleagues, the students and all those with an interest in the campus.
“We have considered all the evidence and assessed alternative options.
“Unfortunately, it is clear that, despite the professionalism, dedication and commitment of everyone involved, the campus has become academically and financially unsustainable.”