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University of Cornwall News

30th April 1998

Vice chancellor backs call for joint university effort

The following article appeared in today's The Cornishman:

"The issue is about providing something viable and sustainable"

by Alison Rowe
Staff Reporter

CALLS for Exeter and Plymouth Universities to join forces to provide university facilities in Cornwall have been backed by the vice chancellor of Plymouth University, Professor John Bull.

He said this week that he thought it was an excellent idea. He said all the interested parties needed to sit down and work out how best to achieve the development of higher education in Cornwall, whether that be through one campus or a number of campuses.

He said Plymouth already invested a lot of resources in higher education in Cornwall and what was most important was that whatever happened it had to be viable and sustainable and be able to grow and develop.

"You don't have to make dramatic gestures. It's about being there and sustainability

"The issue is providing something viable and sustainable and it may not be a single campus but a variety of campuses," he said.

"Clearly our interest and concern for Cornwall has always been, and will always remain, to ensure there is a greater provision of higher education opportunities than at present. We already put a lot of resources into funding higher education in Cornwall and we want to see it grow and blossom.

"Whatever happens it must work because if it doesn't it would be very damaging to Cornwall," he added.

This weekend St Ives MP Andrew George will be having a private meeting with Sir Geoffrey Holland, vice chancellor of Exeter University to ask him to update local supporters of the university on the latest situation, and consider what additional support local people can offer the initiative.

Mr George has also asked Richard Caborn, Minister for the Regions, to arrange a meeting of the heads of higher education and other interested parties to discuss the future needs of higher education in Cornwall.

"We knew this would be a long and hard road to follow if the Millennium Commission bid was unsuccessful, and so it is proving to be," said Mr George. "Megaphone opinionation does nothing to help. Working practically, with all parties to find a way through, does.

This is a critical time for the planning of higher education in Cornwall. Using the Exeter University initiative as a political football is very unhelpful," Mr George added.

Sir Geoffrey Holland has this week been unavailable for comment.

Copyright © Cornish Weekly Newspapers Ltd 1998

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