Published: 20 December 2023 at 12:00
Government legislation means ARU and Writtle merger is now a step closer
The merger between Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Writtle University College is set to be completed on 29 February 2024 after a Ministerial Order has been laid before Parliament by the Minister of State for Education.
Since announcing the proposal to merge in July, ARU and Writtle University College have been working hard to secure a long-term sustainable future for Writtle, and this new government legislation is an important step in the process.
ARU and Writtle University College have also signed a legally binding agreement committing both institutions to the merger, which will be a significant development not just for Essex, but for UK Higher Education.
ARU, which was recently named the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2023, is uniquely positioned to build on Writtle’s reputation and vision, thanks to its shared values and geographical proximity.
Established in 1893, Writtle University College is one of the oldest specialist institutions in the UK, with particular expertise in agriculture, horticulture, equine and canine studies, and animal management.
The merger aims to unlock significant opportunities for growth and development at Writtle University College by combining strengths across education and research, while maintaining Writtle’s excellent student experience at both Higher and Further Education levels.
Writtle’s full range of courses will continue to be delivered on the Writtle campus on the outskirts of Chelmsford, which will be known as ARU Writtle. This campus will be home to the new Further Education college, Writtle College, which will continue the current 16-18-year-old provision and provide a range of courses for adult learners.
Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:
“This merger will be a significant milestone in the history of both universities.
“ARU’s academic expertise in areas such as health sciences, animal science, sport science and sustainability will help to support and grow education and research at Writtle, enhancing the experience and outcomes for students, and creating opportunities for new courses and exciting research developments.
“It is the people that work and study at ARU that makes us distinctive, and I know that our inclusive and supportive community will ensure that Writtle staff and students feel very welcome when they join us.”
“The merger will provide a sustainable future for Further Education and Higher Education at Writtle, ensuring the continued provision of our specialist courses with the commitment to support the development of the estate for the benefit of students, staff, and the wider community. ARU has extensive expertise and resources, and can promote Writtle’s unique strengths to a wide, international audience.”