Brighton University is to keep its Hastings campus open – for now – although bosses say they are keen to be “more focused”.
Some people in Brighton feared that courses would be brought back to Brighton resulting in more pressure on local housing supply and communities.
And some believe that the reprieve today may prove temporary.
One possibility appears to be for Sussex Coast College Hastings to go from further education college to being a university college licensed by Brighton University.
The university said: “The University of Brighton today (Tuesday 8 March) confirmed that it will continue to support the delivery of higher education in Hastings through an evolution of its current provision in the town.
“The announcement follows an internal review which considered a wide range of possible options.
“The review found that
- While the current model for higher education provision has been successful in opening up higher education opportunities in the town, it is not sustainable in the longer term
- A predicted sharp fall in the number of 16 to 17-year-olds in the town and surrounding areas mirrors a similar trend across the rest of the UK
- This is resulting in increased competition for students both nationally and internationally
- Any future investment in Hastings by the university needs to take into account not only its impact on the town and surrounding area but also the university’s wider strategic priorities, future sustainability and growth
“As a result of the review the University Management Board recommended that the university should continue to support the delivery of a more focused higher education offering in the town targeting the local community.
“This could be delivered through a broadening and deepening of its relationship with Sussex Coast College Hastings.“This recommendation was endorsed by the university’s board of governors who resolved that the university evolve a new model of provision in Hastings as part of its strategic development.
“The objective is to develop this model working with local partners, employers and Sussex Coast College Hastings.”
Vice-chancellor Professor Debra Humphris said: “I am pleased that the University of Brighton will continue to play an important role in the continuing social and economic regeneration of Hastings.
“The evolution of our higher education provision in the town, in partnership with SCCH and other partners, will provide a more sustainable basis on which to continue to build on the successes of our students and staff in Hastings over the past decade.
“There are many great examples of this revised model across the country and we will look to learn from them.
“I look forward to engaging with our partners, stakeholders, staff and students in Hastings as we develop and roll-out the new model for future provision.”