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The following article appeared in today's The Cornishman:
Enough potential students for a university
THERE are enough potential students to start planning a university in Cornwall, according to figures presented to a meeting of further education college principals at County Hall in Truro.
The report says 6,000 new higher education places will be needed in Cornwall by 2010, enough, says the Combined University of Cornwall partnership who commissioned the survey from KPMG, to support a small but growing university.
A previous bid for a university for Cornwall at Trereife, Penzance, failed after being unable to raise the necessary finance and submit a convincing case that there was enough demand.
About 40 per cent of the 2,000 students interviewed said they would study at degree level or above in Cornwall if places were available.
The next step will be for the CUC partnership - the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Falmouth College of Arts, Cornwall County Council, and the Government Office South West - in conjunction with the countys colleges, to start planning to bring university provision closer.
Cornwall is one of the few counties in England which does not have broad higher education provision.
Cornwalls colleges welcomed the news, with the principal of St Austell College, Bill Hill saying: "A lot of ground has now been covered, but theres a lot of work ahead.
"By all working together I am sure we can make a university in Cornwall a reality.
"The college principals are looking forward to co-operation with the CUC partnership wherever possible, and the level of interest in Cornwall has never been higher, especially with Objective 1 funding potential for the university."
The key to success would be quality, developing clusters of specialised degree level and postgraduate work which would meet the demands of Cornish students and the countys economy and attract vital extra students from elsewhere.
Copyright © Cornish Weekly Newspapers Ltd 1999
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