Anglia Ruskin University and Writtle University College Announce Merger Plan

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Writtle University College are delighted to announce a proposal to merge the two institutions.

The proposed merger will secure a long-term, sustainable future for Writtle, and unlock significant opportunities for growth and development by bringing together the two institutions’ strengths across education and research.

Now in its 130th year and located on the outskirts of Chelmsford, Writtle University College is one of the UK’s leading institutions for land-based studies.

It offers postgraduate, undergraduate, further education and short courses in the areas of agriculture and animal sciences, with students benefiting from a working farm, a specialist small animal unit and an equine centre based on campus. Writtle has also developed a range of degree programmes in applied life sciences, sport, and health subjects.

ARU's campus in the heart of Chelmsford has grown strongly over recent years, and is now home to over 10,000 students, mainly studying a range of health, business, engineering, and law courses. The campus houses the School of Medicine, one of the UK’s newest medical schools.

ARU’s academic expertise in fields including health sciences, animal science, sport science and sustainability will help to support and grow both education and research at Writtle, improving the experience and outcomes for students and creating opportunities for new courses.

The Writtle estate will operate under the campus name ARU Writtle, taking its place alongside ARU Chelmsford, ARU Cambridge, ARU Peterborough, and ARU London. Writtle’s full range of Higher and Further Education courses will continue to be delivered on site, supported and enhanced by the wider resources of ARU.

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“We are delighted to announce our intention to merge with Writtle University College. With our shared values, considerable resources and geographical proximity, we are uniquely positioned to sustain and build on Writtle University College’s excellent reputation and vision. I look forward to achieving sustained growth and continued success at both Higher Education and Further Education levels.”

ARU and Writtle University College are working together to produce a comprehensive implementation plan, and will be consulting widely with staff, students and stakeholders. Subject to the approval of education regulators, the two institutions intend to enter a legally binding agreement to proceed with the merger.

Professor Tim Middleton, Vice Chancellor of Writtle University College, said:

“This proposed merger will provide a sustainable future for Further Education and Higher Education at the Writtle campus. It ensures continued provision of our specialist courses and a commitment to support the development of the estate for the benefit of students, staff, and the wider community. ARU has extensive expertise and resources, and is able to promote Writtle’s unique strengths to a wide, international audience.”

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