Eden opens its doors to university students
Cornwall’s most famous destination is to open its doors to undergraduates this autumn. The Eden Project, the greatest British landmark of the 21st Century (see editor’s note), will become a higher education campus from September.
University level programmes will include: Horticulture, Garden and Landscape Design, Event Management, and Performance, Storytelling and Interpretation (title subject to validation). The exciting project has been developed in partnership with The Cornwall College Group (TCCG), with programmes awarded by Plymouth University.
Eden Co-founder Sir Tim Smit said: "From the moment Eden took root we have worked tirelessly to create a unique place of learning in this extraordinary space. Now we are the verge of a thrilling new chapter as we establish the freshest university campus in Britain, welcoming students in a range of disciplines perfectly suited to our incredibly creative environment.
“We look forward with keen anticipation to welcoming and sharing our skills with our first cohort and to learning from them, too."
The ambition of Eden Project Learning is to create an extraordinary classroom for both formal and informal education, working with all ages, including school children, undergraduates, apprentices and lifelong learners.
Eden’s programme for schools is well established and 45,000 children a year take part.
Following the launch of its successful apprenticeship programme in 2014, undergraduates will arrive this September to study horticulture in one of the most diverse environments in the world.
Eden’s famous Biomes, which include the largest rainforest in captivity and a Mediterranean environment, mean students have the opportunity to study plants and ecosystems from around the globe.
The unique offer for students is the combination of highly-respected teachers from Cornwall College’s Horticultural institute, Rosewarne, plus Eden’s expert practitioners to share first-hand knowledge of commercial horticulture and the stewardship of one of the country’s greatest and most cutting-edge gardens.
In addition, working with other horticultural partners, particularly the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Tresco Abbey Garden on the Isles of Scilly, students will have the opportunity for placements and experience in some of the most special places in Cornwall.
As well as being a world-class visitor destination, Eden is also a major venue for cultural events, conferences and private events.
The famous Eden Sessions that run every summer this year included Sir Elton John, Motorhead and Paloma Faith.
So students on the Event Management degree will be able to get behind the scenes and work on live events. Working with the Eden teams, they will be faced with the real challenges of time management, budgets and the unforeseen circumstances which confront all organisers.
Students of Performance, Storytelling and Interpretation (title subject to validation) will be learning alongside Eden’s narrator team of professional performers and storytellers.
Formal teaching sessions will be combined with live work on site, with a major emphasis on interpretation and the environment. They will learn to engage the public with stories of science and the living world.
All students will be based at the main Eden site and the nearby commercial nursery and will have access to a purpose-built laboratory for science teaching and a studio for the landscape design students.
It is already apparent that Eden is now attracting people from all over the country and it is hoped that there will eventually be a strong international contingent, as the reputation of the campus grows.
Deputy CEO of the Cornwall College Group, Raoul Humphreys, said: “Eden is a unique learning environment that will broaden the horizons of the people studying there. Our ethos is about making learning work and the ability to be able to study at somewhere like the Eden Project will better prepare our learners for their chosen career, by offering them new skills and unique experiences in one of the most inspiring places in the country.”
For more information, or to apply for an Eden university course see www.edenproject.com.