The Earl of Wessex visiting the University of Exeter’s new Environment and Sustainability Institute with Professor Tapas Mallick (left) showing his research on solar panel technologies, and Dr Yvon-Durocher (centre). Credit: Patrick Campbell/Cartel Photos

Cornwall’s University Campus welcomes His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex

The University of Exeter, Falmouth University, their shared services delivery partner, Falmouth Exeter Plus and the Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union, FXU were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex to their shared campus in Penryn on Monday 29 April 2013.

His Royal Highness viewed the latest developments at Cornwall’s £200M, 100-acre, flagship university campus, which include the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), Falmouth University’s Academy for Innovation & Research (AIR) and the universities’ new shared learning, teaching and research hub, The Exchange, all of which have been completed and launched during this academic year. 

The Cornwall Campus is unique in the UK in that it is jointly operated by two very distinctive institutions.  Its £200M development during the past twelve years has been made possible as a result of significant funding mainly by the European Union (Objective One and Convergence Programmes), the South West Regional Development Agency and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall Council. 

Escorted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho, His Royal Highness was presented to a number of local dignitaries including the High Sheriff of Cornwall, Mr James Kitson; Mayor of Penryn, Cllr Mrs Gill Grant; Superintendent Jim Pearce from Devon and Cornwall Police; and Chairman of Mabe Parish Council, Mr Roger Phillips. 

Academics, students and external collaborators shared with His Royal Highness a number of ground-breaking research projects to highlight the quality and scope of the academic experience offered by both universities at the campus. 

Led by Falmouth University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anne Carlisle; Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Professor Philip Moore; and Head of Innovation, Dr Jeremy Richards, the following projects were presented to His Royal Highness in the AIR building: 

  • A collaboration between Falmouth University and the international charity, Made by Survivors that helps women and children in India to make and sell jewellery, generate income and secure their independence
  • Interactive animations that can be broadcast to mobile ‘phones created by Tremough Innovation Centre-based next generation broadcaster, HeadcastLab
  • V Connect which explores how video conferencing technology can be used to support remote working between groups of artists. 

Led by the University of Exeter’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Overton and Director of the ESI, Professor Kevin J. Gaston, His Royal Highness learned about the following projects in the ESI: 

  • The ESI’s Creative Programme and the Small is Beautiful? project, which looks at the visual and material cultures of making and mending
  • The biology of bees and pollination, the services they provide and the threats they face
  • Research into global warming, the development of solar panel technologies and the university’s work on algae, oxygen production and climate change. 

His Royal Highness also planted a Japanese cherry blossom tree in front of the AIR building to mark the recent conferment of university status upon Falmouth University by the Privy Council. 

His Royal Highness was introduced to representatives from the Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union, FXU, including Mr Joachim Bjorkmann (President – the University of Exeter) and Mr Scott Pearson (President – Falmouth University), with whom he shared an informal sandwich lunch. 

His Royal Highness was presented with jewellery created by the Made by Survivors project from Falmouth University and a selection of fine Cornish ales from the successful Penryn-based micro-brewery, Rebel Brewing Company, which was established by University of Exeter graduates, Henry Austwick and Rob Lowe.

“His Royal Highness’s visit marks a distinctive and historic chapter for Falmouth and Penryn, and we are thrilled that during the visit, we have been able to commemorate and celebrate University title with a plaque in honour of this achievement,” said Vice-Chancellor of Falmouth University, Professor Anne Carlisle.  “It means so much for talented students and staff to be acknowledged and valued in this way.”

”We were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness to the Campus at a key stage in its development,” added Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, Professor Mark Overton.  “The opening of the ground-breaking ESI last week coupled with this prestigious visit has really demonstrated to the local community the wonderful work and exciting projects going on at Exeter’s campus in Cornwall.”


Date: 30 April 2013

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