Staffordshire University to close Stafford campus

Some 3,000 students are expected to be affected by the university's move from Stafford to Stoke-on-Trent

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Staffordshire University is to shut its Stafford campus and move students to Stoke-on-Trent.

Almost 3,000 computing and entertainment technology students will move from the Beaconside site to the university's main Stoke-on-Trent campus by 2016.

Nursing and midwifery courses will not be moved, the university said.

It has revamped its College Road and Leek Road site in Stoke-on-Trent, investing about £42m in two years.

About 11,500 of the university's students are already based in Stoke-on-Trent.

Vice-chancellor Prof Michael Gunn confirmed there would be some job losses as some roles were "site-specific".

"There is always a downside to any decision... we are mindful of the impact," he said.

Prof Gunn said the university would retain a presence in Stafford for the long term and would not be changing its name.

About 1,500 nursing and midwifery students will remain in Stafford, at the Blackheath Lane campus.

The Beaconside site is expected to be put on the market, the university said.

Jeremy Lefroy, Stafford MP:

"It's a blow. We've been talking to the university for some time... trying to say the university is very good for Stafford, and Stafford is very good for the university, and that they should maintain a very significant presence in Stafford.

"We must now look at what the options are for the future and look also how we can use the Beaconside campus."

He said that if the relocation happened in 2015, the loss of student numbers would be compensated by the arrival of "almost exactly the same number" of Ministry of Defence personnel in the town. "That softens the blow but nevertheless it's still a blow."

Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Mohammed Pervez:

"This news demonstrates Stoke-on-Trent's growing reputation as a university city, and our commitment to ensuring young people are able to achieve their maximum potential in education and gain skills at the highest level locally.

"It follows on from the university's investment in a £30m science centre in 2012, the opening of St Peter's Academy last year, and £26m City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College which opened in 2010.

"It proves that our university quarter is a thriving, growing centre for learning. It also follows on from our £270m Building Schools for the Future programme which has transformed the entire secondary school provision across the city."

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