Our senate report in subtext 151 noted that Lancaster aimed to increase student numbers to 14,640 by the academic year 19/20. In spite of the concerns about space that were raised at the time, and the admission from the Deputy Vice Chancellor that there would be ‘a lag’ between student numbers and the resources that become available to them, it would appear that the top table doesn’t consider that to be nearly enough.
They have indicated to HoDs and others that the University is to aim for an extra 2,000 new undergraduates by 2020-21. Discussions have been held (not consultations you will note) about how to accommodate such a large growth in students. Most obviously you would have thought that this would necessitate an expansion of teaching spaces, but there would appear to be no planned increase in accommodation and resources beyond what was promised in late 2016. Instead, it is proposed that departments will double-teach (teach two different groups of students the same thing) or in some cases triple-teach. In addition, the University intends to extend the teaching day, possibly to include weekends. The VC’s take on all this is that our current staff-student ratio is far superior to our competitors and the increase in student numbers should not impact on that. Furthermore, statistically we appear to teach much less than comparable institutions. So that’s OK then.