Leaders meet to discuss university

SUFFOLK religious leaders have met to discuss University Campus Suffolk (UCS) proposals and the redevelopment of Suffolk College, The Evening Star can today reveal.

SUFFOLK religious leaders have met to discuss University Campus Suffolk (UCS) proposals and the redevelopment of Suffolk College, The Evening Star can today reveal.

A seminar at the college was attended by representatives of the college's multi-faith chaplaincy and senior religious leaders including the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, The Right Reverend Richard Lewis, the Bishop of East Anglia, The Right Reverend Michael Evans, and Mojid Khan from the Ipswich Mosque.

Suffolk College vice chairman Peter Mortimer said: "The event explored the significance of the further and higher education developments proposed for the education quarter and how these will raise individual aspiration and contribute to community understanding.

"Suffolk College has for many years offered a multi-faith chaplaincy service and will be looking to see how this can be expanded and developed in the new education quarter and through the lifelong learning network associated with UCS."

The seminar included presentations from Suffolk College chiefs Dr Peter Funnell, assistant principal for learning development, and Marilyn Watsham, assistant principal for further and adult Education.

Dr Funnell said: "At a time when our community is shocked by the recent events in London the opportunity to reflect on the contribution education and training can make to social cohesion and understanding is greatly valued.

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"The case for UCS and redevelopment of Suffolk College has been informed by a commitment to multi-faith community development alongside powerful economic and cultural arguments."

Weblinks: www.suffolk.ac.uk; www.ucs.ac.uk

What do you think about the UCS project? Is the multi-faith approach a good idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

ONE of the largest schemes of its kind in the UK University Campus Suffolk (UCS) is due to open its doors to students in September 2007.

Costing and estimated £150million over the next ten years UCS was handed a £15 million kick-start in February by the Higher Education Funding Council For England (HEFCE).

Land has already been set aside for the project and UCS, plus a new Suffolk College, will create an 'education quarter' stretching from Rope Walk to the Ipswich Waterfront.

A partnership led by the universities of East Anglia and Essex, the UCS project is supported by Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council. There will also be substantial private sector investment in the scheme.

N UCS is expected to be worth £1 million a week to the Ipswich economy.

N UCS will include the Ipswich campus and a number of linked centres in other Suffolk towns. This county-wide campus will be known as the Suffolk Learning Centres.

N The total cost of the scheme is expected to be £150million over ten years. Phase one is expected to cost £75m.

N In November 2004 Suffolk County Council pledged £13m towards buying land for the project.

N The plans include halls of residence for students and car parking.