Can universities afford to stay single any longer?

Work is under way to build the Francis Crick Institute in London, a research behemoth that looks set to project three London universities into the global super-league for biomedicine. The site will not be ready until 2015, but already the building is casting a big shadow over the rest of the country, writes Anna Fazackerley for the Guardian.

The Crick, as it is known in academia, is intended to develop better treatments for diseases by bringing together scientists from different disciplines to study everything from stem cells to influenza. It is also a thundering testament to the power of partnership.

The £630 million (US$1 billion) project brings together University College London, King's College and Imperial College, with investment from three of the biggest public funders in this area. It has had the domino effect of putting considerable pressure on universities outside the capital to form alliances in order to stand a chance of competing. The standard refrain from other vice-chancellors is "even Oxbridge are terrified of the Crick".
Full report on the Guardian site