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Published: 20 September 2021

On Thursday 16 September 2021, the respective governing bodies of St George’s, University of London, and Royal Holloway, University of London, agreed to progress discussions, which began during the summer of 2021, regarding a potential merger between their universities.   

The final decision on whether, or not, to merge is expected to be reached by the end of 2021. The governing bodies of both universities have resolved to gather views from relevant stakeholders, including members of Academic Board for Royal Holloway and Senate for St George’s, and the Students’ Unions. 

Professor Jenny Higham, Principal of St George’s, said: 

“Merger offers the potential to create a strong, research-intensive anchor university for the south west of London. In addition to being able to offer a broad subject mix, it will be superbly positioned for students in the area, and would represent a powerful regional collaborator for business, the public sector and the community.  

“The possibility of a merger between Royal Holloway and St George’s was considered in 2009. Since then, the complementary nature of our discipline mix has grown stronger and the landscape of higher education has changed considerably.”  

“While there are challenges to work through, the compelling offer that a combined university would represent for today’s students, together with the significant opportunities evident in our discipline complementarity, validates our decision to reengage on the possibility of uniting our two universities.” 

Professor Paul Layzell, Principal, Royal Holloway, continued; 

“From positions of strength, a merger between Royal Holloway and St George’s will offer the possibility of a strong, dual excellence university, drawing on broad disciplinary strengths that will increase visibility, impact and international reach. 

“A merged university will be able to offer more innovative, interdisciplinary, research-enriched learning and teaching, drawing on complementary disciplinary strengths, to meet future education demand, and support an outstanding student experience.”  

A joint Governance Group comprised of Chairs and Principals of both universities, together with members of their senior management teams, and representatives from each governing body will now be established to oversee the discussions within their university communities. 

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