News >> Schumacher College gets £2 million gift to repair roof

Schumacher College gets £2 million gift to repair roof

Thursday, 7 March, 2019

We are excited to announce that a generous donor has given a £2 million gift to Schumacher College to repair the roof of the Old Postern and help secure its future after the 15th century building had to be closed as a result of significant damage caused by winter weather.

“The worldwide community of Schumacher College alumni is the greatest support to the college,” said Satish Kumar, the College’s co-founder. “Many of our alumni are also our backers and donors. We are delighted with this gift and grateful to our donor.”

Satish also praised the work of the trustees: “They have given the college their long-term commitment by promising that Schumacher College, which is an integral part of Dartington Hall Trust, will have a guarantee of at least twenty years to stay in the Old Postern and continue to offer cutting edge education so that the young and the old learn and practise the ways and means of sustainable living and help to create a sustainable future for all."

Alongside the renaissance of Schumacher College at the Old Postern, a second college is being founded on the Dartington estate. The new college will initially house courses in the arts, placemaking, and social justice. The two colleges will combine to serve the overall mission of the Trust to make Dartington a testbed and model for a sustainable society.

Alan Boldon, Director of Learning at Dartington, said “I would like to thank Satish for his tireless efforts to secure this generous anonymous donation. The closure of the Old Postern has been distressing for staff and students. With this gift we can start the work to restore the roof and confirm a long-term future for Schumacher College in its spiritual home at the Old Postern."

Dr Tracey Warr, Acting Head of Schumacher College, said, “It was a very difficult moment before Christmas, when students and staff had to suddenly vacate the Old Postern. But the college and its learning community are, in the end, not equivalent to one building. The library is now beautifully housed in the Elmhirst Library. Postgraduate teaching and short courses are taking place in the Elmhirst Centre, the EcoDesign studio, and other buildings at the Old Postern site. The Schumacher kitchen has moved to Higher Close Refectory. The learning community is a little more peripatetic! Students and Dartington and Schumacher College staff have been tremendously constructive in adapting to the reconfiguration."

New course developments planned at Schumacher College include a new BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Food & Farming Enterprise, a new MA in Ecology and blended learning MAs in Ecological Design and Ecological Economics. The second college aims to initially offer a BA (Hons) Contemporary Arts Practices and an MA Art and Place, and there are plans to expand this portfolio over the next three years.

Dr Warr added, “With these developments, we are aiming to renew Schumacher’s internationally renowned learning community and holistic teaching practices offering ecology-centred masters programmes. We intend to expand and diversify our student body, giving access to a wider demographic of applicants. Our course fees will be more affordable. We are introducing a range of study modes: full-time, part-time, and blended learning with short intensive periods on site and supported e-learning designed to appeal to learners with varying needs. We are seeking registration with the Office for Students which, if successful, will enable home students to apply for tuition fee loans."

The repairs to the roof of the Old Postern, a grade II* listed building, are expected to take at least two years and work is due to begin next month.

Alan Boldon went on to say that the generous donation of £2m, the renewal and revitalising of courses at Schumacher College, and the founding of a new college would all combine to enable learning at Dartington to incubate real change and explore the tools needed for both society and planet to flourish.