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Merger hailed

Airedale and Wharfedale College and neighbouring Leeds Metropolitan University took the first step this week towards becoming the country's first "community university".

The two institutions plan a full merger, with the aim of dovetailing courses to ease transition from further to higher education courses for students, while allowing HE courses to be taught in the community using outlets already established by the college.

Leeds Met already franchises parts of some courses out to Airedale and Wharfedale, and is talking to other FE colleges about the possibility of further alliances.

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