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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 06:47 GMT 07:47 UK
MP seeks university regulator
Seale Hayne college
Plymouth University decided not to close the Seale Hayne campus
Radical ideas for a Devon agricultural college are to be put to parliament.

The MP for Teignbridge, Richard Younger-Ross, wants to question the proposed changes to the Seale Hayne campus at Newton Abbot, as well as ask for an independent university regulator.

Students were angry at the end of 2002 when a decision was taken to close Seale Hayne.

Then in May this year, Plymouth University had a dramatic change of heart, saying it would stay open after all.

On Wednesday morning, the Liberal Democrat MP wants to talk about getting an official independent university regulator, when problems and possible closures are indicated.

He also wants answers as to why the prospect of closure was not initially challenged and what reason was given.

Centre of excellence

"I am asking the Department of Education to look at the issue of the independence of universities," said Mr Younger-Ross.

"I want to debate whether we should have a regulator for universities to say whether a university has acted properly and fairly in the closure of colleges such as Seale Hayne.

"At the moment, universities cannot be forced to change their minds."

Mr Younger-Ross said he wanted to discuss the potential of the college as a centre of excellence, where only a small percentage of post-graduates remain on the site.

He also plans to talk about how prospective students will be accommodated academically and practically in the future.

Agricultural college to shut
15 Dec 02  |  England
University plans culture quarter
13 Nov 02  |  England

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