University Campus Suffolk gains independence

University Campus Suffolk
Image caption University Campus Suffolk opened on Ipswich's waterfront in 2007

Suffolk's only university campus is set to be renamed after being granted independence.

University Campus Suffolk (UCS) has previously only awarded degrees on behalf of the University of East Anglia and University of Essex.

It can now award its own degrees, seek its own funding and make more of its own decisions about which courses and research it can provide.

Government approval means its will be renamed the University of Suffolk.

UCS, which has its headquarters on Ipswich Waterfront, opened in 2007 with about 2,000 students and now has more than 5,000.

'Hostile environment'

Richard Lister, provost and chief executive at UCS, said: "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.

"We're a newborn babe in a hostile environment - universities are effectively private-sector institutions in the way they operate now - and the only money we get is by persuading students of the quality of what we do."

Permissions have been gained from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and the Privy Council.

Ben Gummer, Ipswich MP, said it was a "dream fulfilled".

"That we will now have a university of our own, one that is gaining a reputation for excellence and endeavour in spreading opportunity to all parts of our community, says so much about the progress we are making as a town and as a county," he said.

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