The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority are set to agree funding worth £6.5million to accelerate the establishment of a University of Peterborough.
The business case to increase students currently studying at University Centre Peterborough (UCP) will be discussed at a Combined Authority meeting next week (Wednesday 28 June).
The central aim of this pivotal funding is to secure an independent fully-fledged University of Peterborough.
The in principle funding, to be used over the next three years, looks to increase university student numbers in the city to 3,000 by 2022 by expanding the curriculum, recruiting staff and boosting the city’s Higher Education profile.
As student numbers grow the funding could also be used to secure an additional UCP interim site ahead of any future University of Peterborough campus development.
The process is already underway for UCP to be able to issue their own degrees and the project team will submit an application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) later this year in order to have these in place by 2019.
Potential sites for a future campus have already been identified with a preferred location expected to be announced by Peterborough City Council in the autumn as part of their Local Plan.
It’s planned that by 2020 funding can be secured for the campus infrastructure ahead of a transition to independent university status. The campus would then grow over time to match student numbers with the target of having 12,500 students studying degrees in the city by 2035.
James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “Establishing an independent university was a central pledge of my campaign and therefore I’m delighted that the Combined Authority is set to approve funding to further this development within my first 100 days.
“Not only will it create opportunities for our young people and attract and develop a better skilled workforce for employers it will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs and a provide a significant boost to the local economy. This is just the start of our commitment to make the University of Peterborough a reality.”
Councillor John Holdich, deputy mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “The key to having an independent university is attracting students and this is what this funding principally aims to do. Currently we have around 800 students studying degrees in the city and this needs to increase before UCP evolves into the University of Peterborough. Work continues to identify our preferred site for the future campus and UCP will be awarding their own degrees within the next couple of years.
“This funding is crucial and the combined authority’s backing means we can now accelerate our plans to establish a fully-fledged independent university in the city.”
Councillor John Clark, portfolio holder for employment and skills and leader of Fenland District Council, said “Peterborough is the largest conurbation in the UK without it’s own university and sits within a geographical higher education cold spot. The Combined Authority is clear that this needs to change and that by establishing an independent university in Peterborough it will provide an opportunity for our residents to study nearby whilst also attracting talented students from across the UK.
“The university will provide world class education and highly skilled graduates to the local area which will boost all elements of the economy.”
Notes to editors:
University Centre Peterborough (UCP) was formed in 2007 and is a joint venture between Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Peterborough Regional College (PRC). University Centre Peterborough opened its purpose built £9 million facility in November 2009 on the campus of PRC. The joint venture agreement outlines the responsibilities of both parties for managing academic standards.
While the Anglia Ruskin University Senate has the ultimate responsibility for standards through its Quality Enhancement and Standards Committee, the Centre is responsible for managing the quality and delivery of teaching, learning and assessment in line with academic regulations and procedures.
On 26th January 2016, the GCGP LEP agreed to support phase 1 of the programme to develop a University of Peterborough by investing in Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) and initial project work, this included:
Photo left to right: Councillor John Holdich – leader of Peterborough City Council, Councillor John Clark – portfolio holder for employment and skills and leader of Fenland District Council, James Palmer – mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Tony West – University of Peterborough project team leader at University Centre Peterborough, James Larner – UCP deputy director