Durham School of Medicine might be transferred to Newcastle Uni

It’s the preferred option

Durham’s School of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Health might be palmed off to Newcastle, an email to all staff has said.

The multi-million pound facilities will either be moved closer to Durham, or transferred to the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Newcastle University.

The University Executive Committee (UEC) is in favour of transferring the facilities to Newcastle University, which would retain a Teesside presence.

Staff and students will be given a consultation period until the 9th June.

Professor Tim Clark wrote to the staff saying:

Dear colleagues,

In conjunction with the discussion and consultations on the future of Queen’s Campus which have taken place over the last six months, I have been leading a review of the most appropriate future location for the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health. This process has built upon a structural review of the School which took place in February of this year.

A broad range of options for the School’s location were identified and an initial phase of consultation undertaken with colleagues in the School. On the basis of the consultation and a suite of supporting evidence, UEC has agreed that only two options are potentially consistent with the University’s strategy to be world-class in research, education, and the wider student experience. These are the relocation of the School to or near Durham City, or transferring the School to the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Newcastle University. The latter option, which UEC has expressed preference for at this stage after considering the initial evidence provided, would be on the basis that Newcastle University would commit to long-term investment in Teesside.

A further period of consultation commenced on Wednesday with colleagues and students in the School, but I recognise that many others in the University will have valuable contributions to make to the deliberations of UEC, Senate and Council. The University Strategy web pages have been updated with some further information and a form through which all staff and students can provide comment on the two options is available. These pages are available at https://www.dur.ac.uk/about/local/unistrategy/sizeandshape/smph/

Comments must be provided by 9 June 2016.

UEC recognises the impact of the uncertainty around the future location of the School on staff and students and is therefore committed to ensuring Senate and Council make a decision on the preferred option in July 2016. A further period of consultation with affected staff and students on the impact of the decision will then be undertaken.

 Best wishes,

Professor Tim Clark

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Social Sciences and Health)”

Dan McNally, a Third Year Medic told The Tab:

“It is good to see progress in the discussions regarding the future of Queen’s campus with many of the programmes relocating to Durham.

“It would be disappointing, however, to see the university reduce its commitment to the medical programme by relocating the School of Medicine and Health to Newcastle.

“Though Newcastle University already hosts the majority of the students in the joint programme, there had always been plans for Durham University in time to expand its programme to eventually offer an independent 5-year medical degree and it would be a shame to see these plans abandoned.”

This comes just a few days after the university announced plans will go ahead for all college and academic activities to move from the Queen’s Campus in Stockton to or near Durham.

It is anybody’s guess where and how two extra colleges are going to fit, although some have speculated the flashy new business school might be converted into a college.