Professor Anne Carlisle, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of Falmouth University, unveils the celebrations in place to mark the historic moment of becoming Cornwall's first University.
On 31 May the town of Falmouth will witness a once in a lifetime procession through the streets, of dignitaries, politicians, councillors, students, and leaders in Higher Education including Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of Higher Education Funding Council for England. The procession will be followed by a service of dedication at the Church of King Charles the Martyr, with afternoon tea at the Woodlane refectory. Later in the evening a spectacular gala dinner will be held at Pendennis Castle, a fitting venue for the maritime town of Falmouth now embracing being a world-renowned university town. This day of celebrations formally acknowledges the extraordinary journey of over 100 years of excellence in the creative arts.
David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, recognised Falmouth's status as a full university following a rigorous appraisal process. Final Privy Council approval was granted in November 2012. Over the last ten years Falmouth has seen student numbers triple to more than 4,000 and has benefitted from more than £100 million of investment in world-class facilities at its two campuses in Falmouth and nearby Penryn.
Having started life in 1902 as a small art school, today it is recognised nationally and internationally as a multi-arts university offering art, design, media, performance and writing, boasting artist Tacita Dean, sculptor Tim Shaw and BBC broadcaster Hugh Pym among its alumni.
Professor Anne Carlisle said: "Achieving full university title has been one of our key goals and speaks volumes for the quality of our teaching, facilities and governance. It is also the culmination of the efforts of many in Cornwall who have supported our aspirations over several years. The day of celebrations will now cement Falmouth University's reputation for quality and innovation across all the art forms and further our drive to become one of the top five arts universities in the world. We want to develop the creative industries sector and bring creativity to other industries, and our students graduate with the confidence that they are joining one of the most buoyant employment markets in the world."
Falmouth Town Mayor, Councillor Geoffrey Evans, said: "Falmouth should be proud to be Cornwall's first official university town and this association is completely apt, complementing our vibrant and thriving community. We are proud to be the home of a learning institution that delivers all the art forms, unique to the UK. The Council recognises the substantial benefit of the investment that the university and its students bring to Falmouth. I am struck by the high number of graduates who set up their own businesses locally, enhancing our existing creative industries. Long may our association continue through this latest phase of the growth of our University."