Kingston University is embarking on a programme of change aimed at strengthening its position in the higher education market and creating a springboard for future development. The Board of Governors has endorsed the proposal for a new structure following extensive consultation across the institution. The changes will come into effect by July next year.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Scott said a number of catalysts had prompted the re-engineering exercise. “The current academic structure dated from the mid-1980s when the then Polytechnic was much smaller and its approach to teaching and research was very different,” he explained. “We have expanded rapidly and radically since that time so were at the point where we needed to revisit how the University operated. Our success as an institution made a restructure inevitable.”
Duplication and overlaps had begun to occur as a result of growing activity in areas such as enterprise and widening participation, Professor Scott said. A number of courses, such as those in the performing arts field, had also begun to extend into new areas which meant they would sit more logically within a different Faculty.
Chairman of the Board of Governors Jerry Cope said the impending purchase of Surrey County Hall had raised important questions about the current structure of the University. “Investing in County Hall is part of the overall strategy for the growing success of the University. It was critical that our structure was right so we were able to plan effectively for our future,” he said.
Several key changes will be made under the restructure. The main additions will be a new Faculty of Computing and Mathematics and a Faculty of Engineering. They will supersede the existing Faculty of Technology. A new strand in performing arts will be created by bringing music alongside drama within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The current stand-alone School of Education will also come under the umbrella of Arts and Social Sciences. In addition, two new Pro Vice-Chancellors will be appointed with a remit to encourage the growth of a stronger research culture and cross-Faculty course developments. They will act as a link with the arts and science Faculty clusters. “The structure of an organisation should reflect its current and developing culture. Through this process we hope to create a university that fosters creativity and innovation,” Professor Scott said.
A review of administrative and other support functions will be undertaken alongside the academic restructure.