New Deal for young people in Cornwall
Last updated: 05/07/2012
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A ground breaking scheme to provide every Cornish
student with financial support towards the costs of living and
studying at university has been proposed by Cornwall Council today
as part of a series of measures to raise aspirations and encourage
more students to go into higher education.
The Council is committed to investing in the future of young
people in Cornwall and this scheme, the first of its kind to be set
up by a local authority in the UK, follows the launch of the
Cornwall Bursary for post 16 students in February. A further
scheme aimed at increasing the number of apprenticeship places
across Cornwall will be launched later this year.
“This really is the start of a New Deal for young people in
Cornwall,” said Council Leader Alec Robertson. “Earlier this year
we set up the Cornwall Bursary for post 16 students and this new
proposal is designed to provide support to young people applying to
university. We will also be providing up to 200 places for
young apprenticeships within the Council and working with other
employers to offer places.
“Together these schemes will ensure a positive future for all
our young people."
The HE scheme proposal has the enthusiastic support of Neil
Burden, the Council’s portfolio holder for children’s services.
“Although the number of young people from Cornwall going to
university has increased in recent years, it is still lower than
the national average, particularly with regard to the numbers
attending the more selective universities,” he said. “We want
to ensure that increased tuition fees do not put our young people
off from going into higher education and encourage more of them to
apply to the top universities."
The aim of the proposed scheme is to maintain and increase the
number of Cornish students attending university and support the
growth of the Cornish economy through developing higher skills,
particularly in key local sectors such as low carbon, agriculture
and food production, creative industries, marine and maritime,
tourism, rural economy and aerospace.
It has been developed in partnership with Combined Universities
in Cornwall (CUC) institutions, FE Colleges, Unlocking Cornish
Potential and young people.
Dr Sue Brownlow, Director, Combined Universities in Cornwall,
has praised the Council for its commitment to supporting young
people. “One of Cornwall’s success stories since the formation of
the Combined Universities in Cornwall partnership 12 years ago has
been the increase in the number of our young people getting a
University education, which we know then can make a big difference
to the rest of their lives” she said. “We still have further
to go, particularly to encourage Cornish young people to aim for
top A level results and the very best courses. I really
welcome this scheme as a visionary move from the Council which will
help support those students facing genuine financial pressure while
they are studying."
“CUC partner institutions will be working with the Council to
make sure school students are supported with good advice and
guidance about which University courses they can aim for, and to
help graduates from the bursary scheme gain work placements with
businesses to encourage them to build great careers in
The scheme will provide students with a pre paid card which they
can use to pay for an agreed range of goods and services that
support the costs of learning and the hidden costs of studying at
university. These will include learning resources, such as text
books, e books, equipment and stationery, rail and coach travel
cards, digital equipment, including lap tops, netbooks, printers,
software and accessories, broadband connectivity, student insurance
and groceries (excluding cigarettes and alcohol).
Students who meet the residency criteria will be eligible for a
one off payment which will be put on the card. The amount of
the payment has still to be confirmed but the current
recommendation is for this to be set at £30. Parents,
guardians and other family members, eg grandparents, will also be
able to top up the card if they wish.
Students with a household income up to £42,600 can also apply
for additional financial support from two further strands of
funding. Both these areas of funding are discretionary and
will be subject to a number of specific criteria, which includes
the type of course to be studied (there will be a strong focus on
economic priority subjects) and place of study, with funding
specifically targeted towards students applying for the more
selective universities and courses.
The two additional discretionary strands are:
Widening Participation - open to any student attending a non
Sutton Trust 30 institution who meets the eligibility
criteria. Eligible students will be able to apply for up to
£1,200 per student living away from home (£900 per student living
at home) over three years.
Raising Aspiration - open to any student attending a Sutton Trust
30 institution who meets the eligibility criteria. Eligible
students will be able to apply for £3,000 over three years.
The Council is also working closely with Unlocking Cornish
Potential to ensure that students have access to a range of
employability and enterprise skills in addition to work placements
as part of the offer.
'University presents a fantastic opportunity for young people
but once they’ve got their degree, there is no firm guarantee of a
job” said Allyson Glover, Programme Director for Unlocking Cornish
Potential. “Students need to research carefully the potential
career avenues they could take and make the most of every
opportunity to gain work experience – throughout their studies and
during term breaks.
“UCP are thrilled to be working alongside the Council on this
scheme. We’re able to offer undergraduates support and
advice, to help them to clarify their career goals as well as
introducing the brand new 'Grad Cornwall' website which
really showcases some of the best graduate opportunities in
Joe Vinson, President Cornwall College Students’ Union and a
member of the NUS Society and Citizenship Committee, said
“Cornwall Council is taking innovative steps to ensure that
aspirational Cornish students are well supported whilst in Higher
“The national support offered by the government is simply
inadequate, and it’s great news that Cornwall Council not only
recognises this, but has also taken action.”
If approved by Members, the scheme will be introduced in
20014/2015 and is expected to support up to 4,000 students per
year. Whilst the majority of students attending HE are under 25,
support will also be extended to mature students.
The Council has identified £1m from existing resources to
support the scheme in the first year, rising to £3m in 2016 /
2017. Officers are also working to identify additional
sources of funding to support this scheme moving forward and
approaches for long term sustainability.
The proposed scheme will be discussed by members of the
Council’s Children, Education and Families Overview and Scrutiny
Committee on 13 July. Their views will then be reported to
the Council’s Cabinet which will make the final decision.
The Council is also discussing potential partnership
arrangements with key universities, including Exeter, Bristol,
Cardiff, Plymouth and Falmouth.
These include looking at ways in which the organisations can
work together to further improve the accessibility of university to
young people from Cornwall.
Story posted 05 July 2012