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The following article appeared in today's The Cornishman:
Call for unity in bid for university for the
Penzance bid failed because of lack of county support
By Joyce Channon
A Scottish success story has given fresh impetus to the bid for a University of Cornwall.
Before a capacity audience of key opinion makers and decision takers in Cornwall, the need for the county to come up with a distinctive and first-rate vision on which to make the university dream a reality, was stressed during a lecture and debate.
The recently formed Combined Universities in Cornwall lecture - chaired by Cairns Boston at Cornwall College - was brought up to date on the progress being made by the founder partners - the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth and Falmouth College of Arts.
Key points were the appointment of consultents to carry out a demand survey, which will be completed by next Easter, and a meeting due shortly with representatives of Cornwall's colleges to discuss future growth in the provision of higher education in Cornwall.
Robin Lingard who was project director of the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland, highlighted the stumbling blocks and issues that the Highlands and Islands has experienced in putting together their bid, and how they overcame them.
Although not identical, there are many similarities between Cornwall and the Highlands and Islands which had Objective 1 funding.
Prof Alan Livingston, principle of Falmouth College of Art said: "We don't want a second rate university. We are going to take our time and produce something of long-term quality. No-one should think this will happen tomorrow. By the year 2006 we should have a case which is irrefutable. It is on that kind of timescale."
Vice-Chancellor of Exeter university, Sir Geoffrey Holland spoke for all when he appealed for everyone to work together in supporting the collaborative approach.
"Exeter's bid failed in trying to go it alone" he conceded. "Cornwall fell apart and our bid fell through."
He warned that even with Objective 1 funding it would still be difficult to find matching funding. "I am absolutely sure we can do it and appeal for everyone to work together.
"This," stressed Sir Geoffrey, "is enormously important. One of the reasons why we failed at Penzance was that Cornwall fell apart and didn't collectively support us."
Copyright © Cornish Weekly Newspapers Ltd 1998
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