1,000 students are coming to London’s Croydon – can it cope?
Over a thousand undergraduates will throng Croydon next year to attend classes at a new university being planned there, raising concerns on how the south London suburb would cope with the influx.
For some, a university is coming to town is exciting news, especially for a township that includes some of the most economically deprived areas in the country.
But there are concerns that Croydon may not actually have the amenities to support the student cohort.
“Has the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) been informed about more young people in Croydon with the student population?” Croydon CouncillorJerry Fitzpatrick reportedly asked during a scrutiny and review meeting on the project last week.
“The influx will commence in 2020 which is 12 months away. Can I suggest it is something that needs to be thought about pretty quickly.”
The council’s head of strategic projects Caroline Toogood confirmed that the issue is currently being looked into. She also pointed out that a good number of students are expected to come from within Croydon, rather than from out of town.
The new university called the Croydon Creative Campus is the culmination of efforts by Croydon Council and the London South Bank University (LSBU) to build a global centre of higher education in Croydon.
When the project was announced in March, Council leader Tony Newman said it was “fantastic news”, adding that the new facility would contribute towards the regeneration of Croydon.
“As our borough grows and regenerates, we want our centres to develop as a rich mix of business, learning and creativity,” he said.
Learn more about our exciting new partnership that could see a new @LSBU centre open in the heart of our town #CroydonisOpen @CllrTony pic.twitter.com/9PFupXcXiY
— Your Croydon (@yourcroydon) March 12, 2019
Universities stimulate the economy in many ways, with its students and their visitors generating tax receipts and unlocking new opportunities for the local business community.
Croydon is also home to a sizeable population of over 93,000 under-18s. A new university, especially one that involves a leading university like the LSBU, raises their prospects for the future. Nearly 89 percent of LSBU graduates are in graduate-level jobs or further study six months after graduation.
The Croydon Creative Campus doesn’t officially have a home yet but local authorities are currently looking into a suitable location in central Croydon. According to media reports, it is meant to occupy existing buildings in Croydon and apart from LSBU, will involve other universities.
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed said classes will kick off in September 2020, with 1,000 students expected to join.
“That is when university provision will start,” said the Cabinet member for economy and jobs in Guardian Sutton & Croydon.
“We are having conversations with other universities – it is the creative campus idea. In terms of skills, we have done some assessment about where we have a skills gap.”
The councillor said construction, nursing and social care are among the courses to be offered by the institution.
Other courses offered by the LSBU for undergraduate and postgraduate study include: Applied Sciences; Arts and Creative Industries; Built Environment and Architecture; Business; Engineering; Health and Social Care; and Law and Social Sciences.