Until September 2014, UWE’s historic St. Matthias campus played host to a number of courses within the Arts, Cultural Industries and Education faculty.
The Gothic-Revival style site ceased to be one of UWE’s campuses due to an agreement in which the site would be sold and developed as housing by Barratt Developments, as well as hosting Bristol’s second Steiner School (a chain of schools which focuses primarily on the essential, developmental skills of children aged six to sixteen). In fact, St. Matthias’ history of education is rooted in the mid-nineteenth century. Dr. Mulvey-Roberts, an academic who was previously stationed at St. Matthias campus has said that “it dates back to the 1850s. The first Somalian woman in the UK got her degree at St. Matthias campus.”
As part of the development, 215 new homes will be established. According to The Bristol Post, one third of these homes will be allocated to families earning only a low income.
Dr. Davis, another member of staff formerly based at St. Matthias campus has said that “I feel sad that such a beautiful and friendly campus has been lost, although I accept that there may have been economic arguments for closing St. Matts. Our facilities at Frenchay are pleasant, but we still all have a soft spot for the old place”.
Many ACE students of the former UWE campus are also upset with the way in which the land is to be developed. For many, it truly was the reason they chose UWE.
By Jasmin Collier