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University goes from dream to reality

PUBLISHED: 02:00 05 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:54 02 March 2010

A UNIVERSITY in Suffolk is 'turning from a dream into reality' today as the people of Suffolk are asked their views on the development.

University Campus Suffolk (UCS) chose the high profile backdrop of the Suffolk Show to launch a series of county-wide roadshows, aimed at informing and consulting the public about the latest UCS plans.

A UNIVERSITY in Suffolk is 'turning from a dream into reality' today as the people of Suffolk are asked their views on the development.

University Campus Suffolk (UCS) chose the high profile backdrop of the Suffolk Show to launch a series of county-wide roadshows, aimed at informing and consulting the public about the latest UCS plans.

From September this year the roadshows will visit Suffolk's major towns during 2006 informing and asking businesses, schools and residents their views on what the university should bring to the county.

Enthusiastic with the success of the stand at the show, UCS project manager Carol Macaskill said visitors had ranged from GCSE students to mature students keen to learn more about the project.

She said: "There has been a great deal of interest in the UCS stand. People want to know more about what UCS can offer them. It has been well worth the effort of exhibiting."

A project lead by the University of East Anglia and University of Essex the UCS is one of the most significant and ambitious developments in the county.

Mrs Macaskill said: "This is another important step in our campaign to get the message across of the tremendous strides we are making across to the business and academic community, not only in Suffolk but across the region.

"There is still a great deal to do over the next 12 months but the UCS project has made significant steps in the last year to turn the dream into reality."

Alison Lys, East of England Development Agency head of skills and employment, said: "This is the moment the UCS project becomes a Suffolk wide issue.

"The roadshows are a way of getting across the ambitions of the UCS project to the whole community."

Professor David Eastwood, vice chancellor of the University of East Anglia, was at the launch.

He said: "To be without a university is a disadvantage that has been felt in Suffolk for a number of years.

"At the moment we have a low rate of participation in higher education. We are committed to putting that rate up."

Do you think Suffolk should have a university? How will a big student population change Ipswich? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

IPSWICH MP Chris Mole has said momentum for a university in Suffolk is today growing.

The politician was speaking at the Suffolk Show during the launch of the University Campus Suffolk roadshows.

Mr Mole said: "I think it is very encouraging to see the excellent progress made by the UCS project in the last 12 months. You can really feel a sense the UCS is gaining momentum."

Ipswich mayor, Bill Wright, said: "We want to see a university in Suffolk and we badly need it. The roadshows are an excellent way of helping people understand about the project."

James Hehir, chief executive at Ipswich Borough Council, said the project would transform Ipswich.

He added: "This is the most significant project ever that will be achieved in Suffolk."

The redevelopment and rebuilding of Suffolk College, a significant part of the development of the 'education quarter', is closely linked to the UCS project.

Suffolk College assistant principal, Dr Peter Funnel, said: "Today's launch brings together the progress of the UCS project and the associated development of Suffolk College. We think progress and the pace of progress has been exceptional during the last 12 months."

Crucial to the development of the UCS project will be the involvement of the county's business community. It is hoped corporate funding will help pay for some of the £80 million project.

BT regional market manager, Alison Bromwich, was at the roadshow launch.

She said: "A university will help our recruitment to our business in Suffolk. The UCS is something that Suffolk has needed for a long time. We are working closely with the project team on the development of the curriculum."

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 an 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).

A partnership lead by the universities of East Anglia and Essex, the UCS will be built in a planned 'education quarter' close to Ipswich town centre

With a number of learning centres across Suffolk, it is expected UCS will provide access to higher education for the whole county.

Supported by Ipswich borough Council, Suffolk County Council and the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), UCS is expected to bring an estimated £50million a year to the Suffolk economy.

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.

The UCS project is likely to include substantial private sector investment in the scheme.

Weblinks www.suffolk.ac.uk www.ucs.ac.uk


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