New study shows strong demand for
higher education in Cornwall
One in three people in Cornwall want to take a higher education
course, according to a major new study commissioned by the
Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC). Consultants KPMG
spoke to 1,000 local residents in Cornwall aged between 16
and 65, and one third of them said they were likely to start
studying for a higher education qualification over the next
five years. Over 70% of those surveyed also said they were
strongly in favour of the expansion of higher education opportunities
The CUC engaged KPMG to conduct an independent study looking
into the demand for university level courses in Cornwall.
From a survey of almost 2,000 national and international applicants
to undergraduate courses, telephone surveys, focus groups
and analysis of government statistics, KPMG estimates that
there will be a demand for 9,500 full-time student places
in Cornwall by 2010. The CUC is currently planning a second
phase of development to increase the number of places to 8,000
by that date, suggesting that the CUC's partner colleges and
universities will have more than enough applicants wishing
to take up these new opportunities to study.
Of the local residents who said they are likely to start
a course, two thirds would prefer to study part-time and 90%
would welcome a flexible approach to learning using combinations
of daytime and evening study, distance learning, tuition in
the workplace and learning via the Internet. Part of the CUC's
future plans includes the expansion of flexible learning provision
in the region to ensure that higher education opportunities
are accessible to as many people in Cornwall as possible.
People in Cornwall are also more likely to start a higher
education course than people in England as a whole. In 2002
/ 2003 almost 5.5% of people aged under 30 in Cornwall entered
higher education for the first time, compared to just over
4.5% for England, and the rate of growth for Cornwall continues
to outstrip the national trend.
CUC Coordinator Gordon Kelly gave his reaction to the study: "We knew there was a real appetite for university-level
education in Cornwall, but the level of interest has completely
exceeded our expectations, both from local residents and from
others who are drawn by the unique lifestyle we enjoy here.
We can now move forward with our plans for a second phase
of development with added confidence.
The equivalent of 4,250 full-time students are currently
studying at the universities and colleges that make up the
CUC partnership, which is 30% ahead of the target for this
year. Some courses still have a few places available starting
in September, details of which are available at www.cuc.ac.uk.
The Combined Universities in Cornwall is a dynamic and visionary
partnership that is one of the driving forces behind Cornwall's
renaissance. This partnership combines the Universities of
Exeter and Plymouth, Falmouth College of Arts, The Open University,
The College of St Mark & St John, and the Peninsula Medical
School, with Cornwall's Further Education colleges - Cornwall
College, Truro College and Penwith College. It aims not only
to provide the students of the future with more choice and
greater opportunities, but also to boost the economic fortunes
of the region for the benefit of one and all.
The CUC initiative has been invested in by the Objective
One Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the
South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council
and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
For more information, please contact David Kirk in the CUC
PR & Communications Office.
Objective One Communications
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01579 370991
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