Dozens of new universities to be built in county towns and coastal resorts

The Telegraph is reporting that the Coalition has signalled the biggest growth in universities for more than 20 years with plans to create dozens of new campuses in higher education “cold spots”…

David Willetts, the Universities Minister, told officials to investigate the possibility of establishing universities in cathedral cities, county towns and coastal communities that currently lack provision.

He named Shrewsbury, Yeovil, Hereford and parts of East Anglia as areas that could have higher education sites for the first time.

The move is designed to increase the number of school leavers taking degree-level qualifications combined with a drive to provide a boost to local economies.

Mr Willetts has written to the Higher Education Funding Council for England asking them to identify “where there is evidence of ‘cold spots’” and provide advice about how university provision could be established.

In most cases, it is believed that existing universities several miles away would open satellite campuses in a new area or local further education colleges would be converted into universities.

The shift coincides with a decision to scrap strict controls on the number of students that each university can recruit in 2015.

It could herald the biggest expansion of universities in more than two decades since the Conservatives granted dozens of polytechnics full university status…

More at: New universities to be built in county towns and coastal resorts

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