Yesterday, the Government published a White Paper on higher education setting out plans to let universities expand and new institutions open. Today, I took Drexel University, a leading American university who are interested in establishing a presence in the UK, to see David Willetts, the Minister for Universities, and then down to Croydon to meet with Croydon College to see if they were interested in being part of the Croydon Multiversity project I have written about previously.
The White Paper opens the way to a multiversity in Croydon - under the previous Government there were caps on the number of places each institution could offer, making it very difficult for Croydon College to expand its higher education offering in partnership with a number of leading universities. And in my opinion, Drexel would be a great partner – they have a particular focus on first generation higher education students (people whose parents didn’t go to university, of which we have lots in Croydon) and they have a focus on what they call co-operative education – students spending part of their degrees doing paid work for leading employers - and as a result have an outstanding record of students getting straight into work after graduating.
The initial meeting went well and further discussions are planned shortly.