Strathclyde Jordanhill to be broken up

26th June 2009 at 01:00

Over 80 years of tradition is set to be swept away with the decision by Strathclyde University to break up its Jordanhill education faculty and merge it with other disciplines.

A Pounds 50 million purpose-built building was planned for the department in 2006, but this scheme has been scrapped. Instead, teacher training will be scattered throughout two or more existing university buildings after it is combined with the faculty of law, arts and social sciences.

Although Jill Bourne, dean of the education faculty, has given the proposals her support, the prospect of Jordanhill effectively disappearing is said to have caused unrest among staff, who are now concerned at the potential threat to initial teacher education.

The university's U-turn is thought to have resulted in part for the need for cost-cutting, putting the jobs of 150 staff on the line, and partly from the difficulty of selling Jordanhill's 40-acre site during a recession, despite its location in Glasgow's West End.

These developments have been reinforced by the arrival of a new principal, Professor Jim McDonald, whose background is in engineering and who has made no secret of his aim to turn Strathclyde into a "Scottish MIT".

At its May 8 meeting, the university's ruling body endorsed this vision, which Professor McDonald said "explicitly and strategically integrates science, engineering and technology with business, humanities, arts and social sciences".

The merged departments, including education, will develop a "vibrant, sustainable, efficient and effective" portfolio, he pledged. nm.

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