Shropshire Star

Revealed: Shrewsbury's university future hanging in the balance

The future of Shrewsbury's university is hanging in the balance, it has been revealed.

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The graduate procession through Shrewsbury in 2019.

University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS), which has been run by the University of Chester since 2015, will be leaving its current base at the Guildhall in Frankwell, Shrewsbury, as of Autumn.

It is not clear if the UCS, which was set up as a partnership between Shropshire Council and the University of Chester, will continue in the town – or will shut entirely.

In a statement to the Shropshire Star, a spokesman for the University of Chester said: “Shropshire Council has confirmed the need for the University to vacate Guildhall in central Shrewsbury in the autumn.

"University Centre Shrewsbury has been located in the council-owned building since 2016 and has produced almost 1,000 graduates including many teachers, scientists, nurses and social workers.

“It has been a hugely positive partnership between our two institutions which has helped bring higher education opportunities to Shropshire. We are aware of how important higher education is for the workforce development and skills agenda of Shropshire, and are grateful for the engagement of key health, education and local authority partners who are supporting ongoing discussions.

“We are committed to ensuring that all our current students at UCS will be supported to complete their qualifications and are looking at the best ways for this to happen at other locations, preferably in Shropshire, and using alternative delivery modes.

"We are also discussing how we might use existing specialist facilities to deliver these courses. A range of options is under review and we will be sure to keep students regularly updated.”

The university has been asked to confirm if UCS will be closed for good.

The shock development was initially revealed in a letter from Professor Eunice Simmons, the vice chancellor and principal of the University of Chester – which was sent out at the end of last week.