Helping the universities in Cornwall understand their civic impact in the local area and how the public perceive them

Universities in Cornwall

Interviews with residents across Cornwall

Additional boost interviews with residents in the Falmouth and Penryn area


Falmouth University and the University of Exeter, Cornwall had developed a joint civic strategy to maximise their regional impact through a programme of civic activity firmly focused on regional priorities that were rooted in a robust and shared analysis of local needs and opportunities. In order to enable the universities to track whether their civic activity was having the desired impact on outcomes and driving up public perceptions and pride in Cornwall’s universities, the universities wished to trial a public perceptions survey with a cross-section of residents from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to provide a baseline assessment.


The University of Exeter and Falmouth University commissioned Enventure Research to undertake a survey with residents in Cornwall in October and November 2022.

Enventure Research interviewed 1,100 residents aged 16+ across Cornwall using a mixed methodology of telephone and face-to-face on-street interviewing. Quotas were set on age, gender and area to produce a sample that was representative of these characteristics. Interviews were carried out at various times of day, six days a week, to ensure a variety of demographics, life-stages and communities were included.

Enventure Research interviewed an additional 250 residents living in the Falmouth and Penryn area where the two universities are located to identify any differences in perceptions in that area compared with the rest of Cornwall.


Enventure Research collated the survey results and undertook extensive analysis, including analysis by subgroups such as by gender, age group, deprivation and educational levels, and comparisons between those living in the Falmouth and Penryn area and the rest of Cornwall.

The research showed that the local universities are widely valued for their impact on the local economy and life in the local area. However, there was low awareness of the local universities’ activities. The findings will support the universities to monitor and improve their civic impact and community experience in the future.

“This research project has been exciting opportunity for Enventure Research to develop a survey and methodology in partnership with the University of Exeter for universities to understand how they are perceived by their local populations.”
Andrew Cameron

Associate Research Director, Enventure Research