Higher Education direct bids

Uniquely in the England and Gibraltar ESF programme Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, because of their Convergence status, has ESF investment in Higher Education and skills, reflecting the needs of the local economy.

These are direct bid to the programme rather than co-financed. Examples of their delivery include:

A list of these contracts is available here...

Examples of their delivery include:

  • Enterprise Programme - Cornwall College

The aim of this investment is to train teachers, lecturers and trainers to enable them to teach enterprise and entrepreneurship skills more effectively in all settings, including schools, colleges, the community and work place. The project will also focus on a number of specific groups to help raise entrepreneurship and enterprise skills, including undergraduates, graduates, women, older workers, social entrepreneurs and under-employed individuals/those about to enter the workforce.


  • CUC Research programme (phase 2)

This investment aims to increase high quality research and strengthen links between businesses and the partners of the Combined Universities in Cornwall. It aims to significantly boost the amount and quality of research in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by developing a research programme tailor made for each institution. These include environmental science; environment and human health and design and media.

University of Exeter:

European Centre for Environment & Human Health:

Plymouth University:

University of Exeter:

Below are some specific examples of case studies of students undertaking ESF funded PHDs:

                              Dive company and research

See examples of Kathi's work in the media:

Business Cornwall website

European Commission website

                               thermal imaging pilot media release

                               pioneering seafood research media release



  • Raising Aspirations programme 

This project is designed to deliver a range of awareness and aspiration raising activities to help increase access to higher education. This includes: raising awareness of HE opportunities; motivating individuals to participate in higher level skills, in particular from under-represented groups; raising awareness of the benefits of HE amongst employers and the workforce; and increasing progression opportunities for individuals to access HE through partnership learning. 

Examples include:


  • Graduate Placement

(Both as Unlocking Cornish Potential and as part of Unlocking Potential.)

Each and every graduate is matched with a specific opportunity with a business that use and developed their knowledge and skills and in turn they can tap into the expertise of our bank of mentors, helping them make their project a success, and using this experience to build their future careers. And each business that works with us gets the same support: a comprehensive diagnostic review to ensure that the graduate job will deliver maximum benefit for the business, coupled with help along every step of the recruitment journey.

Over time, as we learnt more about our customers needs, new services have been added including a Graduate Business Start-up service; and a range of employability courses delivered by our team, allowing graduates seeking jobs to stand out from the crowd. 

Please visit the Unlocking Potential website for further information.


Examples of delivery include:


Examples of graduate business start ups:


Celebrating Success: