Imperial College held its vote about leaving the University of London today and, after years of mutterings, has finally served notice that it will leave the University of London.
As we said a few weeks ago, losing the science, technology and medicine college is a gnat of a threat to the University's future compared to the mammoth damage that could be caused by the QAA withholding its 'broad vote of confidence'. (An even greater threat might be actual civil war erupting between colleges, what with the LSE's students going on a bit of a rampage against
Strand Poly KCL this week.)
The response from the other colleges of the University suggests that they won't be following Imperial out of the door. According to the Guardian's report, UCL and KCL are more committed to staying within the federal structure while seeking to reform it. QMW and Royal Holloway's commitment to the University was even stronger.
Imperial will lose the right to award University of London degrees (current students will, however, be given a choice of a University or college degree). Not that Imperial's bothered, as its superiority complex over the University is what got it here in the first place.
On a more practical level, Imperial students won't be able to access the shared facilities of the University, most importantly 250 beds in the intercollegiate halls. Accommodation in London ain't cheap and Imperial will need to make sure its students don't suffer, by replacing this lost accommodation and social facilities. The peanut £400,000 subs it will save by flouncing out of the University will be spread very thinly, we suspect.