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12.06.06
Sharing CUC's success across Europe

Representatives from many of Europe's regions will have an opportunity to hear how university-level education is helping to build a new economy for Cornwall at a major conference in Brussels this week.

The Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative has been asked to provide an adviser to explain the project and its successes to delegates at 'Regions for Economic Change: Innovating through EU Regional Policy', the first in a series of conferences organised by the EU Directorate General for Regional Policy on how regions can use EU policy and investment to address major economic and social challenges. Around 500 representatives from across the EU are expected to attend the conference, which takes place on the 12th and 13th of June.

Nigel Hewitt, CUC project officer, who will be representing the initiative in Brussels, commented: "Across Europe there is a recognition that we all need to move towards a more knowledge-based economy, particularly in less prosperous regions where traditional industries are in decline. As the flagship project of the Objective One programme, CUC is helping Cornwall's people and businesses equip themselves to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the knowledge economy. The way we have achieved this, by working as a partnership of all the providers of university-level education serving Cornwall, is a very new, innovative approach and is attracting tremendous interest from other regions."

Keynote speakers at the conference will be José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy. Ms Hübner recently visited the South West, including the Tremough campus in Penryn, which is shared by University College Falmouth and the University of Exeter as part of the CUC initiative.

Speaking at the launch of the South West England Regional Economic Strategy in Plymouth last month, the Commissioner said: "The Combined Universities in Cornwall project is vitally important for producing the seeds of sustainable success. It is not a quick-fix solution but an investment in your collective future. It responds to the demand for a major higher educational institution that will not only stem the 'brain drain' but will even attract talent and knowledge into the region from outside, becoming an economic hub that will generate practical and commercial spin-offs as it grows and develops."

For further information please contact David Kirk in the CUC PR & Communications Office on 01326 370471 or email: david.kirk@cuc.ac.uk.

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).

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Editor's notes:

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, University College Falmouth, 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.

Phase 1 of the CUC initiative has been invested in by the Objective One programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Phase 2 of the CUC initiative is being invested in by the Objective One programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Department for Education and Skills, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the South West Regional Development Agency. The CUC is the flagship project of the Objective One programme.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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