Survey supports Cornish uni

April 16, 1999

Cornwall is on course for a new university, according to results of a consultants' survey to be made public next month, writes Harriet Swain.

Final drafts of a demand survey carried out by consultancy firm KPMG support plans for "a distributed university", according to Alan Livingston, principal of Falmouth School of Art and Design.

The university would be a joint scheme incorporating Falmouth, the universities of Plymouth and Exeter and local further education colleges.

The university would probably have main centres in Falmouth and Cambourne as well as a number of outlying centres to make it accessible to people living in areas with poor transport links.

News that Cornwall has been prioritised by the European Commission as an area of social need is an added boost. Professor Livingston said he expected substantial sums of cash to come into the project between 2000 and 2007.

"There is clear recognition that the university would be important to the social and economic regeneration of Cornwall," he said. "But the number of potential students in Cornwall would not on their own produce a reasonable basis to build a university. It must therefore be attractive to national and international students."

John Bull, vice-chancellor of the University of Plymouth, said the cost of the project would depend on final student numbers and the mix of subjects.

The university would not be able to offer a complete range of subjects but would probably concentrate on areas important to Cornwall and the peninsula, such as tourism and multimedia.

Academic and business plans will follow results of the demand survey, which will be discussed at a public meeting on May 7.

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