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The following article appeared in today's Western Morning News:
New pledge for Cornish campus
Chancellor remains optimistic despite lottery cash setback
By David Green
A FRESH pledge to push ahead with the £80 million project to provide Cornwall with a university campus was given on Saturday by Sir Rex Richards, Chancellor of Exeter University.
Presenting degrees to graduates of Camborne School of Mines, Sir Rex stressed the need to find a new base for the school, which has outgrown the campus it shares at Pool with Cornwall College.
Since merging with the university four years ago, the school has gone from strength to strength.
"It now has a secure and exciting future ahead, provided it can be helped to develop its full potential," Sir Rex said.
It was partly for that reason and also because the university had a major investment in the county in the Institute of Cornish Studies and adult education programmes that it embarked on the campus initiative.
The decision by the Millennium Commission to reject the university's £33 million grant bid for the project was deeply regretted by Sir Rex, who told the new graduates and their families: "I find the reasons they give for their decision very difficult to understand.
"I suspect that the real reason is a shortage of funding resulting from the large sums allocated to London and the South East. The commission decision is a setback, not the end of the project. We shall now regroup, rethink our strategy and seek funds from other sources."
If the campus at Penzance is built in stages then one of the first will be for the relocation of the school of mines, to allow it to enhance its reputation as a world-class research and teaching institution.
Research income for the school has more than doubled to £4 million as students on mining engineering courses are in greater demand than in previous years, with more jobs than there are graduates.
The school's links with the university will be further strengthened with the appointment of its director, Prof Keith Atkinson, as the university's first Camborne-based deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Prof Atkinson said: "There is no such thing as a degree course which offers a guaranteed job at the end of it, but mining engineering must come pretty close."
As well as the 120 students who received their degrees and HNDs, Sir Rex presented an honorary degree to Lady Mary Holborow, the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall.
Copyright © Western Morning News 1997
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