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Merger confirmed by Dartington College of Arts and University College Falmouth

The Boards of Governors of University College Falmouth (UCF) and Dartington College of Arts (DCA) are pleased to confirm their decision to merge in April 2008. The institutions are grateful to the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) who have offered funding to enable the merger, and to the EU Convergence Partnership for their support in principle for this project.

The academic vision of the merged institution will focus on the expansion of Falmouth's expertise in Art, Design and Media and Dartington's expertise in Choreography, Music, Theatre, Art and Writing, in order to create an arts institution that will be unrivalled in the South West. The combined student population of circa 3,000 will grow to circa 4,000 by 2012 with Dartington's provision relocating to new purpose-built accommodation at UCF in September 2010.

"This is a defining moment and one of the most significant developments in arts education in half a century," said University College Falmouth Principal, Professor Alan Livingston.

"It is an historical achievement and creates a sustainable future for the Dartington ethos in Higher Education in contemporary arts practices, which will benefit future generations of artists, scholars and students in the South West region," said Dartington College of Arts Principal, Professor Andrew Brewerton.

The merger will pave the way for a new specialist Arts University in Cornwall in 2012, creating a Higher Education institution unique to the South West.

By 2020 the merger will create and sustain high quality jobs and play a significant role in the enhancement of business creativity throughout the Cornish economy and the South West region. The new institution will be a key part of the cultural and social regeneration of Cornwall and will further enhance the region's important role in the creative industries sector.

Professor David Eastwood, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: "The announcement of merger by the Boards of UniversityCollegeFalmouth and DartingtonCollege of Arts is very good news. It will enable the distinctive HE provision offered by DartingtonCollege of Arts to be secured. It also offers an exciting vision of a new specialist arts university supporting the creative industries to be developed in Cornwall. The task now is to deliver on that vision."

"This is a hugely significant development for the Combined Universities in Cornwall partnership," said CUC Executive Director, Dr Ian Tunbridge. "Together we have already created a remarkable university infrastructure for the county. Our ambition under Convergence is to go much further, to create truly world class centres of excellence which will make Cornwall stand out from the crowd. The proposed ArtsUniversity in Cornwall will do just that, becoming a source of both pride and prosperity for us all. I would like to congratulate all those whose vision and determination has led to this important announcement."

For further information please contact Jilly Easterby, Head of Public Affairs, University College Falmouth on 01326 213792 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). University College Falmouth is a partner of the CUC.


Editor's notes:

University College Falmouth was founded as Falmouth School of Art in 1902.  It has evolved to become internationally renowned for its undergraduate and postgraduate courses in art, design and media.  In March 2004, its standing and quality were recognised when the Privy Council granted the College the power to award its own taught degrees.

The College has 2,200 students and is based at the Woodlane Campus in Falmouth and the Tremough Campus at Penryn, which is the hub of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative.

University College Falmouth is a founding partner in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC), a unique initiative to promote regional economic regeneration through Higher Education. The CUC is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council.

Dartington College of Arts was founded in 1961 by the Dartington Hall Trust and has been home to forty-seven years of artistic and educational innovation in music, theatre, dance, writing and fine art practices.  The College enjoys an international profile for teaching, research and entrepreneurship in contemporary performance arts.

The College has 680 students (568 undergraduate; 60 Masters; and 50 postgraduate research) and is based at the Dartington Hall Estate near Totnes, South Devon.


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
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