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Merger creates campuses for 6,000 students

ONE of Kent’s largest art schools is to merge with an institute in Surrey.

The Kent Institute of Art and Design (KIAD) which has campuses at Oakwood Park, Maidstone, as well as in Canterbury and Rochester, has agreed to merge with the Surrey Institute of Art and Design based in Farnham and Epsom in August.

The link will create one university college with five campuses for more than 6,000 students.

The agreement has taken 16 months to complete and the new college will get £2.3 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Professor Vaughan Grylls, director of KIAD, said: "This represents months of planning and commitment and provides a strong platform on which to build a specialist arts university for the South East.

"We remain realistic as to the challenges ahead but look forward to realising a successful future."

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