Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The One Campus, One Community (OCOC) project represents a time of exciting change for London Met. We understand that times of change can cause uncertainty, so we’ve identified a number of common questions about the project that students, staff and members of the public would like answering.
When will moves to Holloway campus begin?
The relocation of all schools and departments to the Islington campus will be done in phases. Moves have already begun with the relocation of The John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass) to the newly refurbished Calcutta House.
As the Holloway campus estate develops, schools will begin to move to the Islington-based campus.
What motivated the decision and were students consulted before?
London Met currently has 40,000 square metres of excess space at the University, which students' fees are paying for. Moving all our schools to Islington will create a much more efficient campus and enable us to make a multi-million pound investment in new facilities, including bespoke workshops and studio spaces for The Cass and a new Bloomberg suite for Guildhall School of Business and Law. Students who are already based at the Islington campus will also see vast improvements to facilities.
As part of the University’s Strategic Plan research in 2015, over 400 students were surveyed by the Students' Union about their experience at London Met and how it can improve in future. This included a question on whether students would prefer to study on a modern, single campus, and the majority of students surveyed supported this idea. This included students from all six schools and the results were weighted to reflect the number of London Met students in each school.
What alternatives were considered?
The University looked at a wide range of options to try and identify the one that would best address our smaller size, excess space and the need to improve facilities for students. This included looking at moving all schools to Aldgate campus, but this was not a viable option. Only the Islington campus has the space and flexibility to bring all of our students, schools and staff together.
Where is the multi-million pound funding coming from?
The OCOC project is mainly financed by the sale of buildings that we no longer require at Aldgate. Commercial Road, which houses part of The Cass, was sold in 2015 to the Department for Education. Central House, which houses the other part of The Cass, was sold in early 2016.
The sale of these buildings frees up the money required to invest in new facilities in Islington, including new bespoke studio spaces and workshops for Cass students.
Are you closing the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design?
No. We are creating a new home for The Cass in Islington. Brand new workshops and studio spaces will be created to ensure The Cass's ethos of making continues. The move will also bring The Cass together in one location as opposed to splitting the School between separate buildings as was done previously.
Our highly successful architecture department was based in Islington from 1897 before merging with our art and design department in Aldgate to create The Cass five years ago. We feel another move, with even more investment, can only be positive. This project represents a multi-million pound investment in arts education.
What involvement have staff and students had so far in the development and planning process?
We notified students and staff of the Board of Governors’ decision the morning after it had been made in October 2015. We did this because we wanted to work with students and staff in developing the plans. Student and staff input has played a key role in the development of the individual OCOC estates projects so far.
As plans have developed we have consulted students and staff at each key stage, using their feedback to inform all OCOC estates projects. It is important to us that our future single campus design is inspired by the views and ideas of the entire London Met community.
Our Masterplanner, Design Engine Architects, have been working closely with students and staff to develop plans for the new and improved facilities. As part of the process for selecting the Masterplanner we made it clear that they would be working closely with students to make sure they get the facilities they require.
Students’ Union representatives also meet regularly with the Vice-Chancellor and members of the senior leadership team to ensure students’ voices are being heard.
How will the University develop and manage the space at Islington to avoid overcrowding?
London Met currently has 40,000 square metres of excess space and a smaller student body. In the past, Islington campus was home to many more students than we have today. A large amount of space in Islington isn’t used to its potential and there are large amounts of the day where space goes unused. Some of the multi-million pound investment will be spent reconfiguring the campus to ensure there is improved teaching space, social space and facilities in Islington to accommodate everyone.
There is no danger at all of the Islington campus not comfortably housing a student body of 10,000 students, as this is in line, space-wise, with other universities.
What facilities will be available and how is the University going to address access to facilities – especially the library and IT suites?
All students will have access to the facilities and services they need at the Islington-based campus. Furthermore, we are guaranteeing that facilities will be better than those currently enjoyed.
This includes bespoke studios and workshops for students from The Cass, ensuring the School’s important making ethos and studio model of teaching continues. It includes a new Bloomberg suite for Guildhall students and new and improved social spaces for all. The University is also committed to significantly upgrading IT facilities for students.
Also, for the first time, students will have equal access to the same facilities. As less money will be spent maintaining space the University no longer needs, it will have more money to spend on the things students want.
Because the University will no longer be duplicating services, it can also consider extending library opening hours, developing new ways to deliver teaching and consider brand new services for students.
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