Skip to main content

Community connections


We strive to embed ourselves as an integral part of our community. We do this through outreach and volunteering, conducting world-class research, and a commitment to improving the Cornish economy.

Investing in the community

We engage and raise the aspirations of thousands of school children by holding outreach events, such as 'Science in the Square'. We’re hoping this will be back next year.

We encourage scholarship and engagement by delivering outreach activities with local schools, for example, How Science Works is an exciting collaboration between Penryn College and the University of Exeter that brings animated science experiments to local primary schools. Our student volunteers work with primary school staff on a weekly basis to help the children with their arranged activities. The event culminates in all schools attending the How Science Works Conference, an exciting afternoon of biscuit-eating and scientific discussion!

The Exeter Scholars programme is the University’s flagship widening participation (WP) programme, working with eligible school and college students from years 10 to 13 across the south west and nationally, which involves approximately 1000 students every year. The programmes include in-person and virtual events, online courses, subject-specific content, and advice, guidance, and support for the two years prior to applying to university, and a preferential offer from us if they choose to apply to the University of Exeter.

This academic year, there are two Penryn-based subject strands on the Year 12 south west pathway, which together have a total of 51 students currently on them.  There is also one subject strand that is split between Exeter and Penryn, which has 29 students currently on it.

At the moment, we have a total of 58 students from four Cornish schools on our Year 10 tutoring pathway and have allocated 16 Cornish students onto our Year 10 virtual residential pathway.

We also sponsor local sports teams such as Penryn RFC Colts, Penryn Netball Club Juniors and Falmouth Community Youth Football Club. Find out more about our collaboration with local sports teams.

Local economic impact

Together with our partners we have contributed more than half a billion pounds to the Cornish economy and helped create many high-skilled jobs - one of the the main reasons our local community enjoys the lowest unemployment rates and highest average wages in the Duchy. 

Cutting edge research can benefit regional economies in a number of ways, from working directly with local industry, to creating skilled jobs for residents.>

In one example, the Medical and Environmental Data Mashup Infrastructure (or MEDMI) project has received £1million in funding from the Medical Research Council and Natural Environment Research Council. This multi-institutional research collaboration is being led by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health and is using big data techniques to combine records from medical, environmental and meteorological databases, and search for new links between these factors, wellbeing and health.

As well as bringing significant amounts of research income to the region, this project has led to the creation of a new Senior Database Developer post for programmer, Ceri Whitmore. This type of research is highlighting Cornwall’s capacity as a test bed for new and emerging technologies, as well as developing the skills of its population.

Research that benefits Cornwall

Much of the research taking place at our Penryn and Truro campuses has a direct benefit on the local environment and community.

Our academics at the ESI specialise in environmental sustainability and renewable energy and have delivered many projects that directly benefit local businesses - one example is Dr Maclean's work to produce an app that helps wine growers understand the climate within their vineyards, to get the most from their crops.

Other researchers are working to preserve Cornwall's history for future generations, or coming up with solutions to business problems

From improvements in housing regulations to new methods of engaging children with nature, our research is having a direct impact on the ingenuity of businesses in Cornwall, and improving public health at a national and international level.

Visit our Business pages to find out how our academics and students could help your business.

Publically accessible facilities

Our Penryn campus is free to enjoy for the local community - come and explore our beautiful grounds.

Other facilities include:

Contact us

If you have a query or concern, would like to use our facilities or want to get involved in our outreach events, we want to hear from you. 

Type of enquiry

Who to contact

General queries or help reaching a member of staff

Penryn Campus main reception

Phone: +44 (0) 1326 370 400

Schools and outreach events

Outreach team

Phone: +44 (0)1326 371858

Press and communications

Rachel Caunter, Campaign Manager for the Cornwall Campuses 

Phone: +44 (0)1326 255166

Businesses See our Business pages for details of how we can work with you and who to contact.
Report a concern 

Community Support team

Phone: +44 (0)1326 370737

More information for the local community


Making an impact in Cornwall and the region

Discover some of the ways the University, our students and our research are making a positive impact in Cornwall and the region.

We run a range of free taster days and short free accredited courses for people in Cornwall. Read more.

Researchers at the ESI have been working closely with Cornwall Council on the Green Infrastructure for Growth project and the Making Space for Nature project. The projects aim to bring more wildlife to the ‘green deserts’ of small urban public open spaces at the same time as improving them for local communities. Find out more.

During Falmouth Week 2021, speakers from the University gave talks about topics including smart solar powered windows, climate change, plastic pollution, animal behaviour and more.


Tevi is an exciting EU-funded venture which aims to create economic and environmental growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Read more.

Moving stories

This project is investigating local people’s experiences of being physically active in older age. It is also examining how physically active older adults are perceived by other people. Find out more.

Using electric vehicles

Dr Xiaoyu Yan is looking to make more cost effective use of electric vehicles in rural areas, such as Cornwall. His research also looks at how best to use electric vehicles as an energy store for localised energy systems and secondary use of redundant batteries.

National Lobster Hatchery

Research that could help Cornwall lead the way in developing sustainable lobster stocks. Read more.

Science in the Square

This fantastic free event gives scientists from our Penryn Campus the ideal opportunity to share their knowledge, passion and expertise for science with childfren and adults from the local community. Find out more.

How Science Works

How Science Works is a collaboration between Penryn College and the University of Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES) that encourages pupils at local primary and secondary schools to investigate questions in science. Find out more.

Natasha Trethewey

Former United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey performed a public lecture at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus and gave a reading of her work at Falmouth Art Gallery. Read more.

The Bluefin tuna

When the body of a seven foot Bluefin Tuna washed up on a Cornish beach, it offered a rare opportunity for researchers, and the Cornish public, to learn more about this elusive creature.