Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, led a delegation of senior Croydon councillors on Wednesday to meet David Willetts, Minister for Universities, to push for the establishment of a new ‘multiversity’ in Croydon.
Speaking to ELL this morning, Mr Barwell said: “Our delegation received support in principle from the Minister. We are now going to work up a detailed business plan. If government policy is to work in higher education, then it is clear that the university sector has to diversify and give more choice.”
The plans would transform Croydon College into a pioneer in higher education by offering full undergraduate degree courses taught over two years, compared to the more traditional three-year model currently offered by universities.
ELL understands that Croydon College is examining partnerships with a number of universities in Britain and the United States. At present, many of the higher education courses offered at the College are validated by the University of Sussex.
Mr Barwell stated that the multiversity would aim to charge less than £6,000 per year. As a result, total tuition fees for an undergraduate degree could cost £15,000 less than other universities which opt to charge the maximum fees level of £9,000 per year.
Croydon Multiversity will mainly target students living in the area and is expected to bring economic benefit to the town as the college grows. At present, Croydon has fewer people with a degree-level qualification than most other London boroughs.