Sussex University has announced a £500 million expansion plan which it said would boost the economy of Brighton and Hove.
The university said that it expected student numbers to grow from 13,000 at the moment to 18,000 by 2018.
The five-year strategic plan, called Making the Future, included a new campus masterplan which outlined a programme of building work.
It incorporated a new science block and more student housing at the Falmer campus.
The university said that its strategic plan was intended to increase the global impact of its research activities and high-calibre graduates.
The plan sets out goals for
- teaching, learning and the student experience
- research and knowledge exchange
- campus development
- engagement with the community
- economic and social impact
- operating sustainably
Sussex vice-chancellor Michael Farthing said that as the university grew, so would the economy of Brighton and Hove, Sussex and beyond.
According to new research to be published this month by Oxford Economics, Sussex University already contributes £600 million to the British economy. And more than two thirds of that money goes into the local economy.
The university also supports jobs for more than 4,500 people across the south east.
These figures are expected to grow as the university expands. The growth in student numbers will mean more jobs and more custom for local businesses and services.
It will also require new buildings and services, the university said. And the resulting link ups with industry, technology and the creative arts around the world would bring even more business to the university’s neighbours.
Sussex said that it planned to increase its turnover to £300 million a year by 2018.
It would use the rise in revenue, it said, to invest in further improvements to keep Sussex among the top 2 per cent of universities in the world.
The campus masterplan is due to be submitted for outline planning permission next month.
It sets out the building programme that is intended to accommodate the growing numbers of students and staff.
The £500 million investment plans over the next five to ten years include
- a new science block with state-of-the-art facilities to support research in areas such as genetics, drug discovery, neuroscience and ecology
- more on-campus student flats to house 40 per cent of Sussex students
- a potential new sports centre and extension of the library
- more environmentally sensitive buildings using green technologies
Professor Farthing said: “Sussex has a worldwide reputation for excellence in learning, research and discovery.
“We’re dedicated to making a difference in the world. Reflected in that ambition is our vital connection with our local community.
“The university benefits from Brighton and Hove’s unique and vibrant character and the city benefits from the wealth, diversity and energy generated by our students, staff and collaborators.
“Brighton gave life to the University of Sussex and as the university continues to thrive and grow, so it will continue to bring life to Brighton.”
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