‘Collaboration’ would mean university name change

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The University of Lancaster would change its name under plans for “collaboration” with the University of Liverpool, a new internal document reveals.

A consultation paper sent out to staff suggests that the two would become known as “Liverpool-Lancaster University”.

Headed “The Case for Collaboration between Liverpool and Lancaster Universities”, the paper argues that the two institutions have to join forces if they want to be in the “global elite” and grab a lion’s share of funding council research income, known as QR funding.

It states: “This paper highlights the importance of research power and suggests that a close relationship between Lancaster and Liverpool would push LLU into the leading group of universities both for QR funding and for research council funding.”

When the Lancaster Guardian revealed that the two universities were in merger talks three months ago, outgoing vice-chancellor Professor Paul Wellings described our report as “erroneous speculation”.

The paper uses the word collaboration rather than merger but the proposals being outlined appear to be a merger in all but name.

The paper says that collaboration would only be sustainable if there was “some form of joint policy or strategy for research and/or international development that enables some priorities to be set” and a “mechanism to oversee implementation and to identify further opportunities”.

Other arguments in favour put forward include:

“The international profile of LLU would be positioned in the global elite.

“The international portfolio of both universities is already expansive. Close collaboration would generate a sustained position on teaching and reduce risk. In addition there will be new opportunities for international research.

“The teaching environment and student experience could benefit through increased choice and greater opportunities for mobility.

“The financial position of both universities would be strengthened and levered for most opportunities at a time of constraint.”

For more on this story, see this week’s Lancaster Guardian.