It?s quite short, as press releases go. Nevertheless, its either an April Fools joke that got delayed in the internet ether for several months or a very significant revelation about the future of Imperial College.
Imperial College and University College London have been seen as strong competitors in the past, with part of the reasoning behind the Save the Comma campaign being a strong desire to avoid the abbreviation ICL and the inevitable association with UCL. ?While UCL has a very high standing in the academic community,? notes the petition, ?we prefer to think that ours is higher ? and big enough to stand on its own.? Imperial?s press release today acknowledges that the colleges ?have competed and collaborated wherever it seemed appropriate.?
According to the release IC and UCL have decided, ?in response to opportunities in the globalisation of education and research, and to their interpretation of current Government policy in these areas, to embark on a collaborative process that could lead to the decision to merge these two Institutions into a new University, of great national and international significance.?
This correspondant is probably not alone in immediately picking up on the use of the word ?university? to describe the proposed new instutitution, suggesting that a merged IC/UCL would not remain part of the University of London.