University to get £5m from county to bring new courses to Suffolk

Vice Chancellor Richard Lister at the University of Suffolk. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN.

Vice Chancellor Richard Lister at the University of Suffolk. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The University of Suffolk has received a £5m boost from the county council to support new courses and bring in more students.

The money will be made available over the next six years to allow the university to develop new courses – and vice chancellor Richard Lister told the county’s cabinet that it was necessary to help establish the new institution.

He said: “This really is a co-investment in the future of the university. When established universities want to expand their courses they have a reserve they can dip into. And they have wealthy alumni they can appeal to.

“As a new university (it became independent from the Universities of Essex and East Anglia last year) we have to look for support from elsewhere.”

New courses being planned include subjects like a BSc (Hons) in Cyber Security and a BSc (Hons) in Project Management as well as more traditional subjects like a BA (Hons) in Economics and BA (Hons) in Politics.

It wants to set up new research centres for subjects which will be firmly based on local issues.

Mr Lister emphasised to the meeting that although the university’s main campus was in Ipswich, this would benefit people across the county.

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Suffolk cabinet member for finance Richard Smith said the money should be regarded as an investment and would help to bring much more back into the county in the future.

He said: “The University of Suffolk is a very important institution for the county and we are delighted to be able to help it develop like this.”

The move was also backed by opposition councillors. Mandy Gaylard, whose St Helen’s division includes the main university campus on the Ipswich Waterfront, said it was very important to the life of people in her area – it was very much part of the local community there.

Speaking after the money was confirmed, Mr Lister said this was a very important day for the university and would enable it to expand its offer to students.

It gave people in Suffolk the opportunity to study closer to home if they wanted – but also brought people to the county from other parts of the country and potentially more from overseas as well: “We don’t see this as a loan, it is a real co-investment in the future of Suffolk,” he said.