University plans unveiled

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:56 22 October 2010

This is the first image of Suffolk's multi-million pound university development.

This is the first image of Suffolk's multi-million pound university development.

The digital picture of the state-of-the-art buildings was unveiled in the University Campus Suffolk (UCS) marquee at the Suffolk Show.

It was part of a hi-tech computer generated walk-through of the Ipswich Education Quarter on the town's waterfront.

The main building, which is expected to be complete by 2008, will cost in the region of £20m and has been designed by RMJM architects.

It was also revealed that 3,500 students have applied for courses at the university, which will open its doors in September 2007.

Richard Lister, director of academic planning and operations, said: “Everything is still on course and we have already recruited our first batch of 3,500 students for 2007 which we are looking to increase to 7,500 in nine years.

“It's a very ambitious target but we are very pleased with how things are going and are confident it can be achieved.”

Mr Lister said the aim of having a display at the show was to meet members of the public and explain to them what the university is planning to do and how it will benefit the whole of Suffolk.

“We want people to understand how this development will change not only Ipswich but the rest of the county as well,” he said. “Members of the public are able to get an idea of what the buildings will look like, their size, how they will fit in with the other buildings around them and how they will transform the waterfront.

“These are only the initial plans and they are likely to change slightly but so far the response has been very positive and people seem very interested.

“They are asking a whole range of questions from basic stuff about what we are going to do and why we're here to more specific details about the types of courses we will have on offer and when they will be able to enrol.”

UCS is a partnership with the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex and is supported by Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council and the East of England Development Agency.

As well as the main campus in Ipswich, which will be along the waterfront and at Suffolk College, there will also be satellite colleges at Lowestoft, Yarmouth, Otley and West Suffolk in Bury St Edmunds.

Mr Lister said UCS would also use the Suffolk Show as an opportunity to gauge public opinion about where more satellite colleges should be developed.

He said: “We already have a learning network across the county but we want to try and expand this to some of the market towns as well because we are determined people will be able to access the university as close to home as possible.

“As a result we are currently researching where the next layer of colleges could be and undertaking a big consultation exercise so we can talk to communities and see what requirements they have.”

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