phoenixwyecollege Wye Agricola
The Objective of PhoenixWyeCollege
The objective of the PhoenixWyeCollege initiative is to re-establish Wye College to the role, status and reputation it held within the global rural economy before its amalgamation with Imperial College in 2000.
The New Wye College
The raison d’être of the re-established Wye College will be very similar to the original Wye College in that it will specialise in education and research in the fields of Natural Resources, the Environment and the Global Rural Economy. It will be constituted as a not-for-profit company owned in trust by its members who will primarily be past and future graduates of Wye College. People who studied and worked there should, through their membership of PhoenixWyeCollege, play a major role in not only re-establishing the nature, direction and ethos of the college but also in an overseeing role when it becomes operational again.
We envisage that Imperial College would transfer the Wye College campus and farmland into a trust (the Wye College Campus Trust) which would, in turn, lease it to the re-established Wye College on a full-repairing and insuring lease. In terms of access to and use of buildings this would place the new Wye College into virtually the same position it held before its amalgamation with Imperial College.
The PhoenixWyeCollege initiative was formalised into a properly constituted Association on Jan 4 2008 and its constitution is available by clicking here. The constitution enables everyone who studied or were staff at Wye to become members and an application form is available for downloading by clicking here.
The original strategy was to re-establish Wye College as a state-funded university as it was until its closure. Consequently the first action was to approach 15 universities in London and Kent in order to persuade them to establish a new faculty or department of their own institution at the Wye College campus specialising in ‘Wye-like’ subjects. Bearing in mind this approach was made as the recession bit in summer 2008 it is of no surprise that this suggestion was not taken up at all.
In early 2008 we were invited by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) to approach their Strategic Development Fund for funding but a stipulation was that our application had to be sponsored by an existing university. So from the summer of 2008 to the summer of 2009 several universities were approached to sponsor us. The universities were selected on the basis of having either a geographical or sectoral link to Wye College. Some did not even respond but the general reaction was that they already had their own priorities within their own institutions such that they could not be distracted from them.
In Autumn 2009 it was realised that this strategy would be unlikely to be successful and so it was decided to devise an alternative strategy to re-establish Wye College as an independent university similar to the University of Buckingham. Consequently a prospectus was drawn up outlining the ethos and operational nature of the new Wye College to be established by PhoenixWyeCollege. .
For the latest news of developments in the new strategy please click here.