University of Abertay faces merger proposal

Dare To be Digital sponsors asked to explore merge with Dundee University

Dundee's University of Abertay, known for its commitment to games and the Dare to be Digital competition, may be merged with Dundee University.

According to ScottishGames both universities have already received government communications asking them to investigate the logistics of such a scheme.

It's so far unclear how this could effect the institution's comprehensive gaming curriculum.

Abertay offers undergraduate courses in Game Design & Production Management, Computer Games Technology  and Computer Game Applications Development, as well as postgradute courses in Computer Games Technology and Games Development.

It also sponsors the Dare to be Digital  video game development competition, where students work at the university to create a prototype game, which is then shown at the Dare ProtoPlay event.

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Latest comments (12)

Lewis Middleton Studying Game Design and Production Management, University of Abertay Dundee10 years ago
I'm at Abertay and the Student Exec have all ready started a petition to stop the merger.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D10 years ago
Do we know why they want a merger? Are there many course places going unfilled? Obviously I mean among the two universities as a whole, not just their games related degrees.
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Al Campbell Junior Programmer, DNA Studios10 years ago
@Fran- From what I've read it's a budgetary thing, pure and simple. Abertay is apparently one of the smallest universities in the UK, so it doesn't take in much money from tuition fees, meaning it relies heavily on funding from the Scottish Government.
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James Prendergast Process Specialist 10 years ago
Not to mention the whole mess that governments over the last 30 years have put universities in.... What with reducing funding, making higher tuition fees effectively mandatory if they want to survive but then telling each university how many places they are allowed to have on each course.

The whole "full economic costing" crap also really ripped apart universities' ability to manage themselves.

That's the whole problem really. Government is telling them to "be more independent, more competitive and more self-managing like a business"... but then they turn around and make them do things that run counter to those principles.
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Gregory Keenan10 years ago
The SNP have a huge amount of underfunded promises. Abertay was given special funding by the Scottish government for years so that it could become a centre of excellence however these days....

The SNP will, as always, blame the UK Government for forcing their hand - or something along these lines. However the Scottish Parliament has a massive amount of control over this matter, as well as the budget.

Getting the "No-Bullshit/politics" explanation on the Scottish government works really opened my eyes to this - so shame on whoever is forcing this issue!
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Simon Patterson Studying Student Association, University of Abertay Dundee10 years ago
The Scottish Government are progressing down a dangerous slope that will destroy all the good work done by Abertay in the past few years to establish a reputation as a world leader in the industry. This route is being taken to save a few , but will jeapordise thousands of people's educations, and their ability to access higher education in the very first place.

You can support the Hands Off Abertay campaign by signing the petition at and spreading the word to everyone in the industry!!
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D10 years ago
Well, if it's economics, then what exactly is the problem? If Abertay can't afford to keep going, something needs to give. I appreciate that most people reading this won't like that, but it's the truth.

If Abertay's games courses decline in quality, it won't be because of a merger - it'll be because of bad management. Instead of fighting it, people should be working WITH it to make sure it's a success.
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Kyle Hatch Software Engineer, Pennant International Services LTD10 years ago
The biggest problem with the merger is neither side want it. Dundee don't really want to incorporate Abertay and it's courses into Dundee's hierarchy, and obviously Abertay wants to keep its independence. as the Dundee principle said, different uni's with different ideas, priorities and future plans.

The worry from a course point of view is what happens with certain staff, there is some cross over in personnel, Dundee aren't going to want to loose their people and neither are Abertay, but as the significantly smaller university then they have less bargaining power.

The system we have is sustainable and was for years (i know the economic climate has changed) but the Scottish government haven't, each election (be it a major or minor) they come out and promise all these brilliant ideas (a new forth road bridge :() but the money has to come from somewhere, and when Westminster won't put more money into Scotland (lets face it, there struggling with the rest of Britain) then the SNP blame the British government, a nice little get of jail card.

Of course they need to make cuts somewhere and well who cares about a little university in Dundee. I dont hear of plans for RGU to join Aberdeen, or Napier to join Herriot watt/Edinburgh. I can't imagine these other small uni's are any better off at the moment.

It also doesn't help that Abertay have no principle at the moment, a figure head, Bernard King might of been controversial, but i doubt very much this would be going on if he was still here. Mr Patterson would be able to inform you better than i on current inter uni politics however.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D10 years ago
Of course no-one wants it - a lot of people, including some at the top, will lose their jobs. That's the problem with mergers.

I'm not saying you haven't made good points - you have. I suppose, though, the question revolves around why have two distinct universities in such a small place? Wouldn't it be better to just have one? I guess that's what they're asking.

Does anyone know how much money they're expecting to save?
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Spungo McGee Reviewer 10 years ago
There's no inherent reason why a merger should affect the quality of Abertay's work. It'll still have the same people, after all. Everyone accepts there have to be cuts because of the nation's massive deficit - it's just that everyone thinks they should happen to someone else.
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Arbetay could become private and truly independant perhaps?
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D10 years ago
"Everyone accepts there have to be cuts because of the nation's massive deficit - it's just that everyone thinks they should happen to someone else."

Best comment on this thread.
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