VIDEO: Future is bright for the University of Chichester

A SPENDING spree of £12m could see a dramatic overhaul of the Bishop Otter campus of the University of Chichester.

Last week, the university revealed it had been granted research degree awarding powers (RDAP), by the Queen’s Privy Council, meaning it was now capable of awarding its own PhDs.

An artist's impression of a potential design for a new building at the main entrance to the University of Chichester's Bishop Otter Campus. Credit Willmott Dixon

An artist's impression of a potential design for a new building at the main entrance to the University of Chichester's Bishop Otter Campus. Credit Willmott Dixon

In this week’s Behind the Headlines, the university’s vice-chancellor gave an exclusive interview to the Observer in which he laid out drastic plans for the future that could see it opening a £10m Institute of Sustainability at its Bognor Regis campus, focusing on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), designed to use its research powers to boost the region.

Meanwhile, in Chichester, early drawings show a proposed new teacher accommodation building at the city campus, that would be situated right at the College Lane entrance to the campus.

Clive Behagg said the new building would provide a ‘sense of arrival’ when people came to the campus.

In addition, the current music building would be knocked down and replaced.

“I think in Chichester people have come to know about the university and to value it.

“It’s partly down to us to get out and show how important we are to the local community and local community life,” said Prof Behagg.

He said the university was the second-biggest employer in the area after Rolls-Royce.

Prof Behagg also confessed his dream would be to create a symphony hall and attract more people from the city on to the campus.

“They say every vice- chancellor has a pet scheme, but I would like to open a symphony hall on this campus that was large enough to accommodate our orchestras, but also so that we could get European orchestras and the British orchestras to come and play here,” he said.

“We’re going to give it a couple of years and then start fundraising for that.

“We’re going to put it in the centre of the campus and we think that will get people on to our campus when they’ve not before.

“They will think it’s a wonderful place because it’s where they go to hear the Vienna Philharmonic.”

Pick up a copy of this week’s Observer (October 2) to read more in a behind the headlines feature.