Falmouth University’s Director of Communications, Robert Hillier, sat down with TruthFal to discuss the University’s plans for expansion and the reasons why.

Hillier told TruthFal: “The reason for this campus being put here in the first place, was because Cornwall had the lowest access of higher education places in the UK.”

According to the FXU’s Accommodation Motion, it aims to increase its total student numbers from 5,378 in 2016/17 to 6,267 by 2020. The University’s decision to expand has caused friction between the local community and its new student inhabitants.

Falmouth University want to encourage more Cornish people to join

Hillier was very keen to express the University’s reasons for its expansion and what it could do for Cornwall’s development.

“50% of the new students, who would form part of that change from 5,000 to 7,500, will come from Cornwall.”

With lack of workers with high skill-sets and much employment being seasonal, the University believe it is important to encourage an increase in Cornish people going into higher education in order to aid Cornwall’s development as a whole.

Not everyone feels this way. The campaign group who oppose the University’s expansion, Save Our Falmouth, has in the past seen tweets such as this from @JerryPadfield: “Thanks to #FalmouthUniversity pursuing expansion at the cost of everything locals like me can’t afford to live there any more #KeepTheCap.”

Over 6,000 students are expected by 2020

Hillier also explained about the new plans to build new housing on Treluswell, a plot of land adjacent to Penryn Campus. He pointed out that the project developed by CAD Architects at Treluswell is a private project, which Falmouth University have no control over.

“Private sector developers will often look at cities and towns across the country and see if they think there is a demand for student housing.”

Falmouth University are making it clear that, despite some tension with the local community, they want the best for the people of Cornwall and its overall development so it can make positive investment in the county’s future.