By Ben Jackson —
Roar! has acquired papers documenting plans for King’s College London to merge with the London School of Economics by 2023.
The dossier, signed by King’s Principal Professor Sir Rick Trainor, was sent out to academics this morning. It briefly outlines the controversial plans and asks that staff keep the news secret until a big unveiling in June.
This revelation comes as the College has moved many Strand Campus departments to a new site at Kingsway, where LSE is based. This unpopular move is named in the plans as being “the first step towards what will inevitably be dubbed the ‘KCLSE’ partnership.”
Executive Editor of the LSE Beaver Chris Rogers has publicly derided the planned merger:
“Is this some sort of joke? First the Strand Polytechnic moves to Kingsway, lowering the local IQ score by a hundred, and now they’re planning to combine our universities? It’s like cross-breeding Einstein with a chimpanzee. IT JUST WON’T WORK.”
The document, leaked to Roar! Newspaper this morning, reads:
It is with great anticipation that I announce our initial plans to extend the King’s brand to incorporate the London School of Economics and Political Science. This is part of our long-term strategy and has understandably been kept under cover. I ask that staff in receipt of this letter maintain discretion until we make an official announcement in June.
As I am leaving the College in 2014, I feel that this will be my last significant act as principal, creating a very exciting legacy for future staff and students. The current financial climate, with the recent cuts to higher education funding, has necessitated this move. However, this will be a good opportunity for King’s to fulfil its destiny as a Golden Triangle university and present a tangible threat to Oxbridge.
The merger is set to be completed by 2023. This will allow the College to have an in-depth consultation process with students.
Finally, I ask that if you have any questions or concerns, you contact me via email.
I hope you find this news to be as exciting as I do.”
President-elect of the KCL Conservative Society Ben Judge has commented, “This is ludicrous! The two universities are completely different – in their policies, their set-up, their subject-focus. I don’t see how this planned merger is at all feasible. I will be contacting Professor Trainor myself to get to the bottom of this.”
Jason Wong, normally all-too-happy to offer his uninformed opinion, was unavailable for comment.
You can follow Ben Jackson on Twitter at @bjacksonuk