Union’s shock over uni talks

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A UNION representing academic staff at Lancaster University is demanding more details about talks on greater collaboration with the University of Liverpool.

Steve Benner, secretary of the University and College Union (UCU) at the university, said the creation of a working group made up of senior staff from the two institutions and chaired by a fomer Oxford vice-chancellor, had come “out of the blue”.

Last week, the university said Lancaster and Liverpool had agreed to set up a joint strategic planning group.

Students and staff at both universities believe “closer collaboration” could effectively amount to a merger.

City councillor Geoff Marsland, who is on the university council, last week said he feared the move could have implications for Lancaster’s 2,500 staff.

Mr Benner said: “The reaction on the ground is what on earth has Lancaster got to gain from this? We will be making representations for maximum involvement.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (21-07-11) for full story.