Schumacher College’s founder is seeking independence from its owners Dartington Trust following chaos at the start of term.

Last month, the college’s students, including many from overseas, arrived to find their courses postponed. The college’s owner, Dartington Trust, is currently working through huge financial challenges, exacerbated by Covid closures and the current cost-of-living crisis, and is making sweeping changes across its historic estate. Amid intense media coverage, Dartington Trust quickly resumed all Schumacher course start dates.

Now Schumacher’s founder, the internationally-renowned activist Satish Kumar, has written to Dartington Trust, ahead of a meeting with them next week, to request independence.

The letter, which has been shared on social media, states: “We find ourselves in a time of great challenge, but also one marked by moral and intellectual clarity. We at Schumacher College are grateful that for the past 32 years Dartington Trust has supported the college. Now we feel we are ready to become an independent and self-reliant entity. And we are proposing this independence can be accomplished in an amicable manner.”

Schumacher College has been running trailblazing ecological studies courses from the Old Postern building on the Dartington Trust Estate, since Satish founded it in 1991. The college was inspired and named after the pioneering eco economist EF Schumacher, author of ‘Small Is Beautiful’.