Mustafa, the majority of what you have written is true. However, you have neglected to mention a key point that I shall now elaborate on.
When Sir Richard was throwing his toys out of his pram at being coupled with other UL Colleges, Graham Zelick, the Vice Chancellor of the University of London, took a decision that, some believe, aided in the collapse of the merger talks.
Essentially he said that the University would have no objection to Colleges holding reserve degree awarding powers, and, if they chose to use them, could do that SIMULTANEOUSLY with an award from the University.
This was seen by many at the time as the last grasps of a fallen man, but did throw an interesting hat into the arena.
Hence, if LSE did achieve reserve degree awarding powers, and took the decision to use them, the may not have to withdraw from the University at all. In fact, all that would change would be where the College attended came on your degree (as in on it, rather than what happens now, placed discretely on the transcript).
Ok, so LSE wants to disassociate itself from the University of London too. How about merging Imperial and LSE then? It's not a new idea, and I think it makes much more sense than the whole IC-UCL malarky. Think about it. The MIT MBA is one of the top MBA programmes in the States. MIT is one of the top engineering/science colleges in the world. In Europe, the only institutions that can compete with MIT in postgraduate business education are London Business School and INSEAD. Imperial is one of their few competitors in engineering and science, worldwide. Surely we can get the quality Humanities departments Sykes was after by combining what IC and LSE have now, and make sure they have presence on each campus to guarantee access to all students. There are many "synergies" (sorry to use that dirty word) in this deal, as there's quite little overlap in our fields of expertise. However, we have a quality MBA programme at IC, and surely combining the expertise of IC and LSE academics will only do good for it, as well as the LSE undergraduate programmes. On top of that, we have Medicine, which MIT only gets involved in through their collaboration with Harvard... So, bring on London Institute of Technology! My suggestion is that we merge IC and LSE, both universities would stay geographically where they are, we get a better MBA programme, and subsequently attract plenty of (foreign) students willing to pay up to ?40,000 per year (double the current rate) for their one-year MBA. I think we would be in a better position to fight top-up fees for undergrads that way too. And if College funding will be relying more on spin-off companies in the future, having finance and economics expertise in-house will only be a good thing. What do you think?
...not even mentioning the Tanaka-style donations the College is expecting, and that institutions like Harvard Business School continuously receive from their almuni. I really see this as a serious alternative to charging everyone ?10,500 p.a. for undergraduate education.