Monday, September 12, 2016 - 14:00

The Eden Project welcomed its second intake of university-level students today (Monday) after a highly-successful first year.

The campus has expanded and now includes a state-of-the-art eco-building known as the Green Build Hub. This will provide students with library and study facilities and incorporate a new design studio.

Eden Project Learning also now offers an access to science course for students wanting to update their science qualifications prior to starting a degree course.

Eden Project Learning is a partnership with The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) to develop home-grown talent and transform education in Cornwall by offering the chance to train to degree level at the Eden site near St Austell, with programmes awarded by Plymouth University.

University-level programmes include Horticulture, Garden and Landscape Design, Event Management, and Contemporary Storytelling and Performance. More than 60 students are starting today.

TCCG’s expert lecturers deliver the degrees, with Eden staff teaching modules and delivering guest lectures.

Jason Carter from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, who will be studying horticulture at Eden, said: “My wife studied here last year and she said it was great. I’m looking forward to getting hands-on experience in the Eden gardens. The people who work here have done a marvellous job so I’ve obviously got some wonderful people to learn from.”

Rosie Collinge is also studying horticulture and has moved to Cornwall from Scotland for the course. She said: “I looked at a few other places but this seems like the best place in the UK to study. I really like the ideology and how Eden really cares about making a positive impact on the world.”

Gordon Seabright, Managing Director of the Eden Project, said: “Today we’re welcoming our second intake of students here at Eden. How exciting it is to make real Eden’s promise as a fully-fledged, learning organisation that gives the chance to learn from the best in the cauldron of what must now be the most exciting environmental and horticultural organisation in the world.

“Our students are already making a great contribution to the life of the Eden Project, and we expect them to influence profoundly their future professions.”

Acting Principal of The Cornwall College Group, Raoul Humphreys, said: “Learning in an environment like Eden represents a fantastic opportunity for our students.  Not only do they gain the skills and qualifications needed to succeed in their chosen career, they also gain experience in one of the most unique learning environments in the UK.” 

The courses provide invaluable industry experience in one of the most successful visitor attractions in the UK, opening doors across many sectors.

Eden’s unique body of plants, including the exotics of the Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes, allow horticulture students to be able to engage with ecosystems from around the globe.

Highly-respected teachers from Duchy College’s Horticultural institute, Rosewarne (part of TCCG), plus Eden’s expert practitioners share first-hand knowledge of commercial horticulture and the stewardship of one of the country’s greatest contemporary gardens.

Working with other horticultural partners, including the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Tresco Abbey Garden on the Isles of Scilly, students have the opportunity for placements and experience in some very special gardens.

As well as being a world-class garden and visitor destination, Eden is also a major venue for cultural events, conferences and private functions.

Students on the Event Management degree go behind the scenes and work on live events. Working with the Eden teams, they face real challenges such as time management, working with budgets and the unforeseen circumstances which confront all organisations.

Students of Contemporary Storytelling and Performance learn alongside Eden’s team of professional performers and storytellers.

Formal teaching sessions are combined with live work on site, with a major emphasis on interpretation and the environment. They learn to engage the public with stories of science and the living world.

All students are based at the main Eden site and the nearby commercial nursery and have access to a purpose-built laboratory for science teaching and a studio for the landscape design.

The degree courses on offer are:

•    FdA Event Management

•    HNC Garden and Landscape Design

•    HND Garden and Landscape Design

•    FdA Contemporary Storytelling and Performance

•    FdSc Horticulture

•    BSc (Hons) Horticulture (Garden and Landscape Design)

•    BSc (Hons) Horticulture (Plant Science)