Preston’s university is joining forces with other universities across the UK in a Star Wars-sounding University Alliance.Advertisement
The group of universities aims to ‘make a difference to their cities and regions’.
It represents the continuing shift for the University of Central Lancashire to be more Preston-based, after years of expansion internationally.
UCLan is one of the UK’s largest universities with student and staff numbers totalling 40,000.
Chair of the University Alliance professor John Latham said: “At a time when the higher education sector faces huge challenges – but also great opportunities – coming together, collaborating and working collectively gives our members a stronger voice and supports us to innovate.
“The addition of UCLan, a university with a proud history, strong civic mission and a focus closely aligned to the needs of the economy, will help us as we continue to go from strength to strength as a group of institutions.”
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Other member universities in the North West include Liverpool John Moores, Manchester Metropolitan, University of Salford and the University of Huddersfield.
UCLan is spending £200million on upgrading its Preston campus with new buildings.
In late November last year UCLan’s vice-chancellor professor Mike Thomas officially signalled the university’s change in strategy.
He said on joining the University Alliance: “I’m delighted that the University of Central Lancashire is joining the University Alliance. At this time of epoch-defining change in higher education, I truly believe that we will do better if we’re working alongside like-minded universities than we will as individual institutions.
“The Alliance emphasis on universities for cities and regions is very much in tune with our role as a civic, anchor institution – a university for the whole of Lancashire.
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“I look forward to working with colleagues across the University Alliance network to influence and shape education, health, energy and industrial policy in what is a fascinating period not just for universities, but for the country as a whole.”
What do you make of the university’s changing strategy? Let us know in the comments below