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Ipswich: Is UCS a university or not? University seeks independence from UEA - and could be renamed University of Suffolk in bid to attract more students

16:04 10 June 2014

Richard Lister of UCS.

Richard Lister of UCS.


Sponsors of University Campus Suffolk are helping it move towards independence – but there is still some way to go.


That’s the message today from provost and chief executive Richard Lister after one of its main sponsors, the Norwich-based University of East Anglia, backed the move.

In a report to its governing council, the UEA said it supported the aspiration of UCS to get its independence which would allow it to market itself on the world academic market as a stand-alone university.

The UEA report says: “The main marketing problem is prospective students are uncertain as to the status of UCS – essentially, is it a university or not?”

Mr Lister said the important point for UCS was the ability to validate its own degrees. There was a long process to go through before this could happen.

The application by UCS had got over the first hurdle set by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the Privy Council – but there would now be a close examination of its courses and exams by the QAA over a year.

The earliest UCS could be allowed to validate its own degrees would be end of next year – after that it would be able to apply for full university status.

If it did get full university status, it would then have to decide on a new name – but Mr Lister said it was too early to talk about that.

However the UEA minutes suggest that “University of Suffolk” would be the probable name – reflecting the fact that courses are run at Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft as well as Ipswich (there are also a few courses run by UCS in Great Yarmouth just over the Norfolk border).

Mr Lister hoped things would continue to run smoothly: “Both UEA and Essex University have been very supportive to us but it is not a quick process.”

The foundation of UCS as a Suffolk-based campus sponsored by two well-established universities was an innovative way of increasing the number of degree courses available in the county and helped secure the investment that allowed the building of the first university buildings on the Waterfront.

However as UCS has started to establish its own fine reputation in many subjects, the need to gain independence has become more clear.



  • The vast majority of british universities are named after the town they are in and smaller numbers are named after the county or region; and some are named after a person (e.g. Brunel, Bishop Grosseteste, Robert Gordon, Heriot-Watt, Queen Margaret, etc). So how about Wolsey University or, better, Cardinal Wolsey University?

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    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • Great idea Mark perfect with the added Ipswich Queen Elizabeth I I University

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    randall bevan

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • I agree with Randall Bevan and would love to see "Ipswich University". However, Suffolk County Council are a key stakeholder (and with not a single cabinet member residing in Ipswich) I have never seen them willingly promote Suffolk's urban capital. Otherwise, as Mr Bevan mentions, Wolsey planned "Kings College Ipswich" in 1528. That he fell from grace has cost Ipswich dearly for five centuries. What about "Queen Elizabeth II University" in honour of Britain's super sovereign ?

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    Mark Ling

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • University of Ipswich D̶o̶c̶k̶s̶ Waterfront ?

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    You What

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • "...the important point for UCS was the ability to validate its own degrees. There was a long process to go through before this could happen." Very simple fact. It's a university in its own right only when it has the ability to validate its own degrees - if it hasn't, it isn't a university. Full stop. UCS hasn't so it isn't a university; it may not get this ability for a long time to come; and all those brown signs on the roads already declaring Ipswich a "University Town" are, bluntly speaking, a fraud.

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    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • How about "Ipswich Waterfront University of Suffolk"? Or simply "Waterfront University"?

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • Why not promote the County Town by naming the University accordingly Ipswich University would add another accolade to this great town. Cardinal Wolsey attempted to establish the town as a centre of academic excellence half a millennium past. The prospectus for the university would give credit to the other centres throughout the County and beyond. The administration centre is based in Ipswich the County Town and any campus differences(if any) should be set aside to concentrate upon establishing Ipswich as an University town with all that it means to its development and economic benefits. Incidentally I commend Mr Lister, his colleagues and staff for establishing this centre of academic excellence and their continued efforts on behalf of the present student body and the generations to come and the Ipswich Star for it's support of this essential centre for Ipswich and the region. Let us continue to rejoice that we have an University and more strength to all involved with its development. Randall Bevan MSc former student of Cardiff University School of Education and Loughborough University of Technology Ergonomics and Cybernetics Department

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    randall bevan

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • I hope things have improved there in the last few years. I did a computer studies evening course there, and the IT dept couldn't once manage to e-mail us students to let us know about any of the many, many lecturer no-shows.

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    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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