The University has announced that it will not be proceeding with plans for an international student foundation college in partnership with INTO.
Vice-Chancellor Koen Lamberts put forward a new University Strategy for teaching and research on his blog and assured students that had previously criticised the plans to partner with INTO.
YUSU President Kallum Taylor stated there were a number of “risks” with the venture.
Taylor stated on facebook: “We never opposed it (the plans) by default, but we were very aware of the risks.
“If certain assurances were given, if the building and rooms were multi-purpose, and if they didn’t cut any corners in its development, it could have been a high quality asset to bring the University forward and offer itself a more secure funding base.
He added, “The decision was made outside of any committee I sit on but I can say that the proposal has been dragged through heaps of scrutiny, and not just from YUSU, through all kinds of committees and the sub-group set up for it – and clearly this has been a good thing as it hasn’t stood up to it enough to convince the Senior Management Group.”
Taylor was keen to emphasise that crucial facilities for Heslington East were still being looked into.
“This does not in any way, shape or form mean we are going to stop demanding to add much needed services, retail and study space to Heslington East. Constantine is on the horizon now… And the needs are stark enough… We’ll keep going and we still have backing from big players in the higher echelons of Heslington Hall.”
Earlier this month YUSU had attempted to slow down INTO’s plans to invest in the University, saying that the needs of students on Heslington East needed to be considered within any proposals.
INTO is an organisation which invests in recruiting international students in their partner universities across the world. These partnerships include eleven institutions in the United Kingdom, five in the US, and two in China. Currently York is not a direct partner to INTO like Newcastle. Instead it is affiliated with the scheme, which means that the university considers taking on students recruited by INTO who do not get a place at their partner universities after the nine month training, grades withstanding. If the new plan had been approved it would see INTO recruiting students directly to York.
Symone Thompson, Langwith Chair, spoke with Nouse on the recent decision. “With three colleges on Hes East, it’s a relief to know that the university are prioritising the majority student needs over any potential profit. Rather than focusing on building the facilities for INTO, the university, along with our help and input, can now prioritise in improving the facilities we already have.
“Our main focus now is to work on improving the amenities and services of the shop on Hes East along with gaining a Langwith common room,” she continued. “Hes East is already a great campus, Langwith and Goodricke already have a strong relationship and we’re already looking forward to welcoming Constantine, yet there is a lot that can still be improved. Without the pressure of INTO, we can all breath a little easier and start working on those improvements.”
Tara Annison, Goodricke Chair, added, “I completely agree with Symone, it’s a really big win and it’s been great that YUSU have really fought the college corner on this one to get a win all round. Now we can really start to push for the facilities Goodricke and Langwith really need and get that all important common room for Langwith and shop for all three colleges!”