Peterborough's University Centre opens

Peterborough's University Centre's been officially opened by a former Kings School pupil - who's now a government minister.

David Lammy says it's really important to have local higher education facilities:

"It's really important to have those stepping stones from school, to further education, and then up to higher education, which is really important.

It's not just about fluffy academic stuff but vocational pathways to higher education, because that's where the future jobs are."

Mr Lammy, who's Higher Education Minister, had a choral scholarship to the Kings School for seven years.

He says it is great news for the city:

"I know this city well, in good and bad times. I know that this has been a tough recession for the city. But this vision in this building, and indeed in the wider campus with the school [the Thomas Deacon Academy] and the college [the Regional College] is really about looking to the future...

It's really exciting to be here - Peterborough is looking very different to the Peterborough I studied in during the Eighties."

Academic Director Paul McDermott says they are keen to help local young people who are struggling to find a place on a degree course this September after the national squeeze on places thanks to an increase in applications - due to the recession - and a government cap on places.

"As of September we've still got another 200 full time equivalent courses available. Because we are here for Peterborough and for its sub-region primarily it is a golden opportunity for people who may be struggling to get on a course elsewhere."

850 students enrolled at the Centre in September - and they are hoping to take on an extra 200 this September.

They are running more than 30 degree-level courses, with specialist subject areas focusing on business, education, social sciences, IT, engineering and construction.

You can find out more by going to their website here.

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