Cornwall to name site for campus

May 17, 1996

Cornwall's proposed new university will be designed to support "lifetime learning", Sir Geoffrey Holland, vice chancellor of Exeter University, has promised.

Schools, colleges and workplaces throughout the region will be points of access for the university which will run distance-learning and part-time courses provide computer terminals in all secondary schools and community centres, such as office blocks and workshops.

Sir Geoffrey will announce the location of the Pounds 80 million campus on Monday.

The project steering group has looked at four shortlisted sites, narrowed down from 47, originally nominated by landowners and agents. The options are the Trereife estate, on the outskirts of Penzance; the Enys estate, near Penryn; Scorrier, near Redruth; and another site close to Newquay.

But Sir Geoffrey says the choice of site should not affect the university's ability to provide access to higher education for everyone living in Cornwall: "Wherever you look in Cornwall, it is a dispersed population. That is why we intend to make full use of distance learning." The Open University will be a partner and have a base on the campus.

Officials from the Millennium Commission are due to visit the chosen site on May 28 to consider a bid for Pounds 22 million. The steering group is hoping for up to Pounds 40 million economic regeneration money from the European Union and capital funding support through the Private Finance Initiative.

But the crucial question of whether recurrent funding can be secured remains unanswered. Sir Geoffrey said he was pinning his hopes on the Higher Education Funding Council for England's review of funding for teaching.

"I hope the new system is focussed on regional needs and widening access rather than simply expanding existing institutions," he said.

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