A proposal revealed on Monday to merge Abertay and Dundee University in Scotland has caused a ruckus among students who immediately set about to protest against it. Today the Scottish Funding Council assured students and the public that, should such a merger occur, Abertay University’s games education courses would not be compromised. New proposals to unite the two institutions are part of a wider government austerity plan to cut costs. The SFC directs government funding to universities and colleges.
The proposal to merge Abertay and Dundee University has sparked online protests from Abertay’s student union, but the SFC tries to calm everyone down:
"Nobody would want to compromise Abertay University’s leading games courses," a spokesperson for the SFC told Develop.
An Abertay spokesperson said that the university is concerned about the nature and tone of the request because they are an "independent, autonomous institution."
On Monday the two universities, which are about a mile apart, received letters from the government asking them to explore how a potential merger could work. The student association has begun a "Hands Off Abertay" campaign. The group said on Monday that the merger is "an unprecedented and highly inappropriate move from the Scottish Funding Council that represents a very real and tangible threat to Abertay’s future as an independent, innovative and excelling university – and it is the students that will suffer in the long term." The group put out an online petition that calls for the government and the SFC to commit to protecting access to the university, "maintain Abertay learning’s environment and protect Abertay students’ contribution to the city of Dundee."
Sources from within Abertay University have told Develop that the merger appears likely.