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University of Cornwall News

19th March 1998

The following articles appeared in today's The Cornishman:

Time for unity in bid for a university of Cornwall

Editorial Comment

This week there are renewed calls for a university for the county.

The Cornishman has campaigned long and hard for just that following Exeter University's bid to establish a campus at Trereife.

And while we still strongly support that bid, we are mindful that what is now proposed is a much reduced scheme from the original, with the relocation of the Camborne School of Mines forming the central plank of the development.

Now four college heads from throughout the county have called for a university for Cornwall and they seem to be saying is that it should be established around their existing colleges.

This of course bears examination for in the end of the day we should be looking at the best long term option for the students, the best long term solution to keep them in the county and and the best long term solution to attract others from outside the county to the establishment.

In addition we should also be looking at the best option for attracting business investment to the county: Would a university based at four different sites provide such an attraction and could they be restructured to offer the facilities that a purpose built campus would?

There are of course no easy answers but what is certain is that all those wanting a university for the county should be working together to find common ground so that they might make a unified and cohesive bid to achieve the funding to bring this vital facility to Cornwall.

For while we continue to pull in opposite directions it becomes less and less likely that we will ever achieve our central aim and that is a university that the county and our children so desperately need.

University: Penwith to keep cash back in coffers for the time being

by Alison Rowe
Staff Reporter

IN A WEEK when college heads are calling for a united effort to provide more university facilities in Cornwall, Penwith Council has decided to keep money earmarked towards a campus at Trereife tucked up safely in its own coffers for the time being.

The council, meeting in secret last week, turned down a request from the University of Exeter to spend £885,000 on buying Trereife, near Penzance.

Instead it has told the University it is still strongly committed to the initiative, but will not spend any more money until it knows the effects of what is a much altered scheme, basically involving re-locating Camborne School of Mines onto the site.

The council also decided to tell Exeter University to buy a two month option on the land itself, and once that is secured then the council will commission an economic impact study to assess the effects of the proposals.

Penwith said that the request required the most careful examination, especially in viewof the reduced nature of the initial proposals.

"In order to be fully informed in respect of the new proposals the council will now be securing a detailed economic impact study to assess the effects of the significantly different scheme, provided the University will extend the time frame," said the council.

The council agreed that Exeter University be advised it was still strongly committed in principle to a university campus and would still reserve the £900,000 earmarked towards it.

The principals of four further education colleges in the county have backed a call for more university facilities. Cornwall College at Pool will soon be publishing a consultative document setting out its view on how to provide more higher education courses locally.


This would involve developing the existing college campus as well as those at St Austell College, Truro College and Penwith College.

Cornwall college principal, Dr Alan Stanhope said that it would involve a campus, but not in the way Exeter University planned to have one at Penzance.

"You start with what you have and build on it," he said.

The college principals, Dr Stanhope, Bill Hill (St Austell), Jonathan Burnett (Truro), and Richard Andruszko (Penwith), are urging the Government Office of the South West to support bids to expand higher education.

The principals, who say Cornwall cannot afford to be without its own university, feel that the growth in higher education together with the increased costs would require more students to study locally.

However, Cornish students would lose out because there was inadequate locally provided higher education.

The principals want local universities, further and higher education colleges and stakeholders to get together to discuss university provision in Cornwall. Ideally there should be agreement to avoid wasteful competition. "We are all keen to contribute to these developments in a coordinated way appropriate to the strengths of our respective colleges," they added.

Stuart Franklin, Exeter University press officer said that they welcomed anything that would raise the profile of a university for Cornwall. He said that the principals were using many of the arguments that had been used in favour of the Trereife campus, and agreed there would be no point in duplicating existing provisions. "We have never set out to compete with anyone, our courses would be complementary," he said.

What was crucial about the Trereife proposal was that it would provide a balance to the outflow of students going to other universities.

"We want the campus to attract students from outside the county to balance the outflow." Concerning Penwith's decision Mr Franklin said that the resolutions would be put to the University's council and it would be up to them to decide how to respond.

"That can't happen until March 25 when the next council meeting is," he added.

Copyright © Cornish Weekly Newspapers Ltd 1998

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