First day for Suffolk's university

SUFFOLK'S multi-million pound new university celebrated its first day as a business today - with bosses promising an economic boost to the region.The launch of University Campus Suffolk (UCS) - held at the Salthouse Harbour Hotel, near the site of the forthcoming university buildings on Ipswich's waterfront - was heralded as a proud day for Suffolk.

SUFFOLK'S multi-million pound new university celebrated its first day as a business today - with bosses promising an economic boost to the region.

The launch of University Campus Suffolk (UCS) - held at the Salthouse Harbour Hotel, near the site of the forthcoming university buildings on Ipswich's waterfront - was heralded as a proud day for Suffolk.

More than 3,500 students from across the country have enrolled for the university's first academic year, which begins next month.

But on its first official day of business, the university's chief executive outlined a bright and promising future for the establishment, which he said could have a turnover of £100million.


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Professor Bob Anderson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and chief executive officer of UCS, said: “This is a unique venture and it is a very proud, exciting and historic day for Suffolk.

“The journey is just starting. It is going to be exciting, certainly bumpy at times, but I know we have the strength of character, level of enthusiasm and will to make it happen. And in two or three years' time I believe we will have provided Suffolk with a regional university it will be proud of.”

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In its inaugural year, UCS will share the premises of Suffolk New College in Ipswich, with its main campus on Ipswich's waterfront open from September 2008.

Its modern approach to higher education, with university centres in Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Otley, at existing colleges, was predicted to bring benefits to the whole county.

Mayor of Ipswich, Inga Lockington, said: “I don't have to pinch myself anymore, there is a university here in Suffolk.

“I am delighted - one day in Ipswich we will see young, happy people throwing their hats in the air and that will be lovely.”

Degrees will be jointly awarded by the universities of East Anglia and Essex, with UCS building on their reputation.

Prof Anderson added: “This is vastly important, as Suffolk was one of the only counties of its size who did not have a university.

“It will have two big effects, providing an educational and economic boost for the county and we expect everybody right across Suffolk and Ipswich will benefit over the next 10-15 years.”

Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for economic control and development, said: “This is a very proud day for Suffolk and I look forward to my children being able to go there - it is about the future and it is fantastic how it will reach out to all parts of Suffolk with the other campuses.”

UCS was not the only institution celebrating today, as Suffolk College celebrated its transition to Suffolk New College.

The new title recognises the fact the college can now redirect its entire focus on to Further Education, such as A-levels and vocational training, and pass on the Higher Education responsibilities to UCS, which will initially share its campus.

Suffolk New College will have a new £60m further education college opening on its existing site in 2009.

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