Newman pursues full university status
Updated on: 11/06/2012
Newman University has welcomed the move to allow it to become a full university following the Government’s decision to abolish arbitrary size limits restricting use of the term.
Under current rules, higher education institutions that confer their own degrees but have less than 4,000 students cannot call themselves a university, despite being subject to the same quality standards as full universities and the fact that many traditional universities, including Oxbridge, operate a collegiate system of much smaller colleges.
Professor Peter Lutzeier, Principal and Chief Executive of Newman University, said: "The change corrects an anomaly in the system and will help reduce public confusion surrounding the nature of university colleges.
"At Newman, we have a long tradition of providing high-quality, formative degrees in a values-driven environment for students looking for a professional route. This quality is reflected in our 93% graduate employment rate, which is one of the best in the country.
"As we move towards a more marketised system of higher education, the clarification of what constitutes a full university is particularly important as students need to know they’re comparing like with like when choosing courses."
Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, which operates inward investment programme Business Birmingham, added: "The economic value of promoting the quality of education across Birmingham can’t be underestimated. Not only is it vital that businesses looking to move here can recruit skilled staff; longer term, the young people who choose to study here could be future business leaders – making important decisions about where the next generation of businesses invest.
"Combined, our local universities and university colleges produce 97,000 talented graduates each year, with nearly 60% achieving either a 2:1 or 1st class degree – so it is testament to the work of higher education institutions such as Newman that they are now able to become universities in their own right."
As well as taught degrees, Newman University enjoys a burgeoning reputation for research, which informs its learning and teaching and was recognised as ‘internationally excellent’ in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (2008). Newman recently invested over £20 million in a new library and campus refurbishment and has developed international partnerships.
Named after Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, the university college became the first higher education institution in the UK to offer a degree in ethical and sustainable business earlier this year. As well as a range of full-time undergraduate, postgraduate and foundation degrees, Newman also offers a more-affordable, part-time study option to help students who would otherwise be put off studying by the costs involved to reach their academic potential.