Scarborough Council has announced that it intends to submit a joint bid with Coventry University College to run the university campus in Scarborough, which is currently operated by the University of Hull.
Earlier this year the University of Hull announced its intentions to pull out of the Scarborough campus to focus on its larger educational base in Hull and since that time, the council and local partners have been looking at ways to secure university education in the town for future generations.
The proposed collaboration with Coventry University College Ltd (CUC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Coventry University, would create a university campus aimed at providing high quality, industry-responsive education at a reasonable price with sustainable student numbers to create a vibrant campus life.
The ambition is to develop the campus so that it is sustainable in its own right and as such has realistic opportunities in the medium term to achieve full university status for Scarborough, which would see it teaching and awarding its own degrees.
The campus would offer a wide range of subject areas at Foundation, HNC and honours degree level: law, marketing and sales, health and social care, science and engineering, tourism and hospitality, policing, accounting, management and leadership, business and information technology and business and law. However, the aim is to develop the courses on offer in response to the needs of local students and employers.
Cllr Tom Fox, Scarborough Council’s leader, said: “I am delighted that we are now able to go public with these exciting plans for securing university education in Scarborough.
“Coventry University College has a reputation for offering excellent higher education and a rewarding student experience.
“We feel it is the right partner to help us deliver a truly first class higher education institution to match our ambitions for the continuing economic development of our borough.”
Ian Dunn, deputy vice-chancellor at Coventry University, added: “We are pleased that Scarborough Borough Council will be collaborating with Coventry University College (CUC) with a view to providing a high-value, affordable model of higher education in North Yorkshire.
“Through our highly-successful CUC model, we have demonstrated a new and sustainable concept in learning, in a focused teaching environment, which is underpinned by the academic excellence of Coventry University.
“We believe that excellence in higher education should not be constrained by geography and as such are committed to the long-term development of higher education provision in Scarborough, through a model that will help meet the local skills agenda and provide other benefits for the community.”
The proposed bid has already received strong support from local businesses and organisations including York Potash, Scarborough Business Ambassador Forum, Unison, McCain Foods, GCHQ Scarborough, Scarborough Hospital, North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire County Council and York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
Cllr Derek Bastiman, Scarborough Council deputy leader and cabinet member for economic regeneration said: “The very fact that we have the support of high profile organisations in the local business community sends out a clear message that a successful university in Scarborough is vital. The aim is to tailor the student learning experience to reflect the areas of expertise that these organisations need to be successful, with a view to retaining talented people in our borough and in turn ensuring businesses can remain competitive and innovative. This, together with the direct spending a university community brings to an area, will ensure a prosperous local economy for many years to come. Throughout the region and nationally we want Scarborough to be recognised as an attractive place in which to learn, invest and live and we are confident that the proposed university campus will play a huge part in achieving this.”