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14 June 2012

by Margaret Holness

THE five university colleges in the Cathedral Group of church-based higher-education institutions are expected to become full universities later this year, as a result of a pre­dicted change of rules in the Higher Education White Paper, due out this summer.

The two Anglican institutions, Bishop Grosseteste, Lincoln, and St Mark and St John, Plymouth, to­gether with three Roman Catholic colleges (St Mary’s, Twickenham; Newman, Birmingham; and Trinity, Leeds) have so far been unable to use the title “university”, because they have fewer than the required mini­mum of 4000 students.

If, however, the numbers barrier is lowered to 1000, as is widely ex­pected, the five would immediately apply for university status, it is un­derstood.

The remaining university colleges have long seen their position in the higher-education sector as anomal­ous and unfair, and as affecting their abil­ity to compete because their title is little understood, especially internationally.

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