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World class merger creates hothouse of agricultural and environmental research

Under embargo for
1 August 2000

Today, Wye College, Kent, merged with Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London. The Wye campus will be known as Imperial College at Wye.

Wye College is internationally renowned for research-led teaching in biological sciences, the environment, agricultural economics and business management, agriculture and horticulture with an annual turnover of about UKP12million.

The merger will bring agriculture to Imperial College for the first time and will enable many synergies in environmental, biological and biochemical disciplines. The existing Wye departments (Biological Sciences, Agriculture & Horticulture, Environment and Agricultural Economics & Business Management) will join Imperial's Department of Biology and the TH Huxley School of Environment, Earth Sciences and Engineering.

Nineteen new courses are being offered as a result of the merger (see Notes to Editors). Imperial College at Wye will also continue to offer opportunities for distance-learning and short intensive courses via its award-winning External Programme.

Tim Clark, Provost of Imperial College at Wye, said: "I am very honoured to be Provost of Imperial College at Wye in view of the long and distinguished academic history of Wye College. My challenge is to make the merger work to the benefit of all parties and to the development of Imperial College as a major player in all facets of biological scientific science, from basic bioscience through to agriculture and medicine."

Several collaborative research projects are already underway - for example, Wye agricultural economists have been working with Imperial natural scientists on the economic impacts of pesticide use in developing country agriculture. The merger will offer realistic means of addressing the problems that interrelate agriculture, the environment and sustainable development with those relating to diet and health.

Lord Oxburgh, Rector of Imperial College, said: "There are tremendous opportunities to bring together the strengths of Wye College in food, agriculture and rural environment with those complementary activities in the TH Huxley School and Biology Department at Imperial College. This powerful combination will stimulate inter-disciplinary research and new initiatives which in turn will promote undergraduate and postgraduate teaching."


For further information and photographs please contact:

Tom Miller
Press Office
Imperial College
Tel: 020 7594 6704

Wendy Raeside
Press and Public Relations
Imperial College at Wye
Tel: 01233 812401/813473

Notes to editors:

1. Both Imperial and Wye are constituent colleges of the University of London. Close professional links were developed through a joint interest in Natural Resources Institute in 1995 and the subsequent establishment of Natural Resources International Limited in 1996.

2. The first Provost of Imperial College at Wye is Tim Clark, formerly Pro-Rector (Educational Quality) and Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at Imperial College. A specialist in asthma and other chest diseases, he was a consultant physician at Guy's and the Royal Brompton Hospitals, London, for almost 30 years. He is Vice-Chairman of both the National Asthma Campaign Council and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. His role at Wye will be to co-ordinate academic activity including liaison with other departments at Imperial and to foster Wye's links with local, national and international communities.

3. Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine is an independent constituent independent constituent part of the University of London. Founded in 1907, the College teaches a full range of science, engineering, medical and management disciplines at the highest level. The College is the largest applied science and technology university institution inthe UK, with one of the largest annual turnovers (UKP330 million in 1998-99) and research incomes (UKP122 million in 1998-99). It is consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions for research quality, with an aggregate score of 6.09 out of 7 in the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise. For further information see:

4. Wye College was founded by Cardinal John Kempe in 1447 and became a school of the University of London in 1900. Based near Ashford in Kent, Wye College offers research-led higher education to more than 2,000 students from over 100 countries worldwide. Subjects covered range from business management to biological sciences, agriculture, horticulture and the environment.

5. New course details

First degree courses on offer at the Wye campus for the academic year 2001/2 will include:

BSc Degrees (Department of Biology)
Animal Science
Equine Science
Environmental Biology
Plant Science

Click here to link to the Department of Biology 2001 entry prospectus pages

BSc/MSci (TH Huxley School)
Applied Natural Science with Management:
Specialist options in -
Agricultural Science
Horticultural Science
Environmental Science
Applied Environmental Science
Environmental Management
Agricultural Business Management
Equine Business Management
Business Management for the Food Chain

Click here to link to the TH Huxley School 2001 entry prospectus pages

Postgraduate study programmes available in 2001/02 include:

Diplomas and MSc Degrees

Environmental Management:
Specialist options in -
Applied Environmental Science
Landscape Ecology and Management
Rural Environmental Policy

Agribusiness Management
Agricultural Economics
Applied Environmental Economics
Economics of Rural Change
Food Industry Mgt and Marketing
Applied Plant Sciences
Plant Biotechnology

Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development:
Specialist options in -
Production in Tropical Environments