Virtual visit to University of Cumbria by Universities Minister Rt Hon Michelle Donelan

Virtual visit to University of Cumbria by Universities Minister Rt Hon Michelle Donelan name

Universities Minister the Rt Hon Michelle Donelan today heard how University of Cumbria is continuing to provide a quality learning experience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and discussed its growing role and impact as the anchor higher education institution for the region.

Minister Donelan met with University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell alongside other members of her senior leadership team.

Professor Julie Mennell said: “We are delighted Minister Donelan made a virtual visit to our University. We were able to discuss how we’ve been supporting our students and staff throughout the pandemic and how proud we are of them.”

“Alongside, we covered our progress and our ambition to build on our achievements to date.”

“We are rooted firmly in the prosperity and success of Cumbria and North Lancashire, serving our community, with a strong emphasis on place and partnership.

“Since our inception in 2007, we have diversified our portfolio to meet the emerging needs of employers, students and our region.”

“Our growing expertise and exceptional industry connections have already led to us being amongst the best in the UK and top in the North West for our students securing employability within 15 months of graduating and we want to do more. We can not and do not wish to do this alone, and we have a firm emphasis on working with others.”

During her visit, the Minister was given an overview of the key partnerships the University of Cumbria is involved in such as:

  • The Borderlands Growth Deal Initiative, working with Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (Cumbria LEP) and Lancaster University Management School, together with place-based FE collaborative partners, to establish a new campus in the centre of Carlisle, which will not only seek to address the higher-level skills needs of Cumbria and the Borderlands region, but will also be a catalyst for city centre growth and vibrancy.
  • Barrow Learning Quarter, working with BAE, Barrow Town Council, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria LEP, Furness College and Lancaster University to address long term skills needs across digital, advanced manufacturing and professional services alongside increasing the HE offer and accessibility of HE in and from Barrow, including in key sectors such as health, education - with anticipated funding to support this from the recently announced Towns’ Deal Fund.

Professor Mennell added: “We discussed our impact as a very significant regional provider in the health and education fields, and how we play a key role in attracting, retaining and nurturing existing and new public services’ talent. This includes training paramedics in 9 out of 10 of ambulance services across the country and delivering to medical personnel in our armed services.

“Although this year has been a tough year for everyone, like all universities we continue to strive to do our best: for our applicants, students, staff and wider communities.”

“The visit from Minister Donelan was very welcome, and her recognition of the challenges we have faced in Cumbria and across the sector, as we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic and beyond is much appreciated.”

Universities Minister Rt Hon Michelle Donelan said:   

“I know this has been a difficult time for students but I am pleased universities like Cumbria have been supporting their students during the pandemic.

“It was great to hear how the University of Cumbria has fostered strong relationships with major employers. It is vital students benefit from a high-quality education and go on to pursue successful careers.”


Photo: UK Parliament website (Used under Creative Commons)