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California plans update

At its meeting on 22 November, the University Council agreed that Warwick will withdraw from the initiative to build a new University campus in California.

As colleagues will be aware, throughout our continued examination of the initiative, we have considered a number of alternative pathways to establishing a full campus - including a smaller-scale initial graduate school and a single ‘college’ model. However, the Council concluded that the opportunity now being considered had moved too far beyond the original vision to establish a fully comprehensive research-led campus.

The Council made the decision noting concerns about the evolving financial framework that would need to be in place, and some of the additional regulatory issues that came into force during our engagement with the project that would apply to a non US-based institution wishing to establish itself in California.

We still believe there remains a significant and exciting higher educational opportunity in the region, but it is not right for the University of Warwick. We have worked closely with the University Development Foundation (UDF) throughout, and will support them on business planning for a transitional period as they continue the process to attract a new higher education partner to the region. Following the Council’s decision, we have worked with UDF to reach agreement on a joint statement on the project – being led by UDF’s timescales to be able to liaise effectively with key stakeholders in the region, which I can share with you here.

I know we have gained valuable institutional experience and learning from our work. A number of opportunities for research collaboration have also emerged, and I look forward to seeing these develop further. To the many colleagues across the University who have contributed to our explorations: thank you.

Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor