University prospectus is revealed

BOSSES behind Suffolk's new university have outlined a series of measures to ensure the facility is a success.On the day the prospectus for University Campus Suffolk was launched, the man behind the project said he was confident he could attract almost 3,500 students by the time it opens next year.

BOSSES behind Suffolk's new university have outlined a series of measures to ensure the facility is a success.

On the day the prospectus for University Campus Suffolk was launched, the man behind the project said he was confident he could attract almost 3,500 students by the time it opens next year.

Richard Lister, director of academic planning and operations, described smooth links with local businesses - to give students a greater chance of employment - was key to the success of the university.

He also believed the location of the university could be a massive attraction to many youngsters unable to afford moving away from home.


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“We are offering Suffolk students a choice on their doorstep which they have never had before,” Mr Lister told the EADT.

“It is not easy attracting people in such a crowded market place with a lot of competition and we must have a clear niche.

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“We will have to persuade students planning to go elsewhere that we can offer a better alternative and attract others who don't plan to go to university at all.

“We feel we will have to offer students good employability and entrepreneur skills to boost their job prospects and ensure they are flexible for 21st Century working.”

The university hopes to attract 3,300 students when it opens in September 2007 - with a main campus on Ipswich waterfront and through existing colleges throughout Suffolk.

It was made possible thanks to more than £18 million from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) - the organisation's largest single investment.

Yesterday's launch at Sudbury Upper School was part of a series of countywide roadshows which has seen project chiefs discuss the plans with local schools, businesses and community leaders.

The prospectus outlines the university's large selection of degree courses - with particular emphasis on health-related studies, building and construction and some unique courses including special effects and family history.

Mr Lister said: “We are not just talking about our university - we are discussing with students why university life in general is important.

“There has been a drive for a university in Suffolk for a long time and I think being one of only four counties in the whole of the country not to have one has made us feel left out.

“There has often been a brain drain where people are educated away from the county and never return - we want this to stop and also attract people from the rest of the UK and abroad.”

University Campus Suffolk is a partnership between the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex, working with Lowestoft College, Otley College, Suffolk College and West Suffolk College .

David Forrest, headteacher of Sudbury Upper School, said he believed the university could encourage more local pupils to stay on in sixth form and beyond.

And Sudbury pupil Leann Warren, 16, said: “The university is something I would be interested in as it looks like it is trying to cater for everyone by offering a wide selection of courses.

“I was not even planning to go to university because I couldn't afford it - but this might have now solved that problem.”

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