Heslington West is set for a massive development aiming to enhance accommodation, teaching and research facilities.
As part of the plans a tenth college will be created. Although criticisms have arisen over the potential increase in student numbers, the University have reassured that this should not be a concern.
Instead, the tenth college would help in the University’s plans to keep more second and third years on campus.
York’s ninth college, recently named Constantine, is expected to open its doors to students next year on Hes East.
However, the details surrounding the tenth college and its future additional facilities are still largely unknown.
YUSU President, Kallum Taylor said: “The prospect of a tenth college is rather daunting; it’s not something the University should rule out completely but there’ll be a harder case to make for this than with college nine. Simply speaking, there should be no further expansion of accommodation anywhere until there’s more student facilities built on Hes East such as a super market, more study space, a bar/canteen, space for societies to use and more in the way of essential student support services.
“We’re still trying to nail dates down on these because the University seems to agree… Whether this gets stalled or diluted is yet to be seen – but we’ll do our best to make sure that we get commitments, and timings, on these before any plans for college ten are drawn up.”
The University of York is one of the six of UK universities with a collegiate system. Unlike Oxford and Cambridge, York’s colleges are not individual academic institutions, but do continue to provide pastoral, social and accommodation services.
Lancaster University, recently named best university in the North West, has 4000 students less than York but one more college than York’s current eight. With Constantine and the tenth college expected, this will bring York’s college-to-student ratio more in line with Lancaster’s collegiate system, where colleges play a similar, non-academic role in university administration.
In September, Nouse reported that the University’s ninth college, which opens next year, will be named ‘Constantine College’.
At the time, Dr Jane Grenville, Deputy Vice Chancellor, gave her reasons for supporting the name: “There are two reasons. To date, we have not celebrated the Roman origin of the city and Constantine, declared Emperor here in 306AD, was undoubtedly the most significant historical figure associated with the city in its entire history.
“He converted to Christianity and ensured religious toleration in the Roman Empire. Without him, the course of European history would have been completely different. And he’s a Yorkie! We’ll have Constantine to rhyme with line not lean.”
These are among the first details of comprehensive plans for a phased redevelopment of Heslington West, which entered initial discussions last term and are now being put forward into consideration by senior management. The aim is to make Hes West “one of the best in the country” for student experience and research.
The as yet unnamed college is a part of new development plans to include “high quality residential accommodation for all students living on campus, a new teaching facility and a further significant expansion of the library”, according to David Duncan, the University Registrar.
The estimated costs of the project are just under £400 million, with an additional £40 million budget for IT infrastructure and research equipment.
Enhancements to York’s sports facilities and major new developments for the sciences are also among the proposed future improvements.
While the changes to Hes West are expected to give the campus a new look, the development plans intend to keep with the original “parkland” layout and design of the University.