The decision also means that UCS will receive direct government funding for the first time, enabling it to expand its teaching and give more young people in the region the life changing opportunity of a university education.
UCS was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers in November 2015, allowing the institution to award its own undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees. UCS held these powers in reserve until University Title was secured. Future graduates will receive University of Suffolk degrees.
Founded in 2007, UCS was a unique collaboration between the universities of East Anglia and Essex, and a range of other partners*, to establish a higher institution in Suffolk. Until today Suffolk was one of just four counties in England that did not have its own independent university.**
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson, said: “For too long, many in Suffolk have had to turn to other parts of the UK for higher education. I’m enormously pleased that UCS has demonstrated its ability to meet the needs of students and can now be called a University in its own right.”
Richard Lister, Provost and Chief Executive of UCS, said: “Suffolk has waited a long time for its own University and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff, students, the UCS Students’ Union, our Learning Network Colleges, Board members, partners and colleagues in Suffolk and beyond who have supported us along the way to independence.
“This is clear recognition that we have consistently demonstrated the quality and track record to enable us to sit alongside any other University in the country. I am very proud of our achievement.”
“Becoming the University of Suffolk will enable us to expand our work and offer the transformational experience of higher education to even more people. It is expected that we will see an increase in our student numbers and it will make it easier for international students to join us. Over time we expect to grow by 50% and it is anticipated that by 2020, the University of Suffolk could boost Suffolk’s economy by £25 to £30 million per year.”
The Universities of Essex and East Anglia warmly welcomed the news and will continue to work with the University of Suffolk.
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “A University of Suffolk is a dream fulfilled. That it has taken hundreds of years to realise this dream speaks volumes about the efforts of the people who have made this possible, first among them Richard Lister, who has shown remarkable leadership and tenacity in gaining university status for UCS in record time.”
*Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk New College, EEDA, HEFCE ** Herefordshire, Northumberland, and Rutland
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