Edinburgh University and art college merger approved
A proposed merger between the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art has been approved by the Scottish government.
The move will be backed by £13.8m of new investment from the Scottish Funding Council.
The decision follows a 12-week public consultation.
The merger will now go before the Scottish Parliament and if final approval is granted, it is hoped to take place on 1 August.
Edinburgh University, founded in 1583, is regularly ranked among the leading 50 universities in the world.
The city's College of Art was founded in 1907 and has about 1,700 full-time students.
'Benefits and opportunities'
The principals of Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh welcomed the announcement.
Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, principal of the University of Edinburgh, said: "If the merger gets the backing of the Scottish Parliament, then this will lead to a step-change in academic collaboration between our two institutions, bringing considerable benefits to students, the arts and creative industries and, more widely, to Scottish higher education, society and the economy."
Principal of Edinburgh College of Art, Professor Ian Howard, said there was a lot of hard work ahead, but news of the merger was a very important step.
Donald Workman, chairman of Edinburgh College of Art's board of governors said: "The college's board of governors, along with staff and students, fully supported the proposal to merge on the basis of the academic benefits and opportunities it will undoubtedly bring to staff and students, both in teaching and research."