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First undergraduates share their enthusiasm

University Centre Shrewsbury's first undergraduates have spoken of their excitement to be part of the institution and town as they embark on courses. The students arrived on Sunday 27th September and enjoyed a week of activities to welcome them to Shrewsbury.

Welcome Week included a Civic Reception to introduce them to community representatives and vice versa, a Sports and Societies Fair and academic inductions. The students begin their studies today.

History student Holly-Elizabeth Smith, 18, from Hednesford, said she was delighted to join University Centre Shrewsbury and be at the hub of the town community.

She said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be one of the first students at a brand new institution. When I chose to put Shrewsbury as my firm choice I did it because I loved the course at Chester but wanted something smaller.

"The size of the classes offered means, as a student, you won't have to fight for attention.

"The opportunity to move right into the heart of a community is so unique for a university."

She added: "From a history point of view, Shrewsbury fascinates me as a border town between Wales and England and with its historical value. It is so incredibly beautiful and I certainly won't lack inspiration."

To see Holly-Elizabeth chatting to reporter Joanne Writtle from BBC Midlands Today, visit the University Centre Shrewsbury website.

Robert Rowlands, 19, who is studying Business, said he was thrilled to be part of the first undergraduate intake.

"We're proud to be pioneers - it's a special moment for everyone.

"We did a blue badge tour and heard that Shrewsbury was meant to be the third place in England to have a university set up almost 400 years ago but it didn't get underway. Now it is happening it is great.

"The staff and people in the town have been fantastic and given us a reception it would be hard to rival anywhere else."

Robert, from Shrewsbury, explained that he opted for University Centre Shrewsbury as a means of allowing him to continue with the family business.

"The opening of University Centre Shrewsbury enables me to both study and be part of the family business which is based just outside the town.

"I'm looking forward to expanding my knowledge of local, national and international business with a range of speakers and case studies.

"Before I was looking at universities farther away, but this is close with a great lecturer from Chester and that is a big part for me."

Jack Davies, a 19-year-old from Bolton, who will be studying History, was the University Centre's first student after making the decision to study in Shrewsbury early on.

He said he had made the choice having known Shrewsbury through family and friends while growing up.

He said: "I have always visited Shrewsbury with my family, I know the area very well. When we saw that this new institution was opening my parents said it was a sign.

"Everyone's very friendly - we've been given a warm welcome and it's great to be here."

Chris Bernard, 18, originally hails from Paris and has chosen Shrewsbury as his location to study Banking and Finance.

He said that he had found out about University Centre Shrewsbury through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Services) and is keen to get started.

He said: "I think it is a good place to study and to improve my English, I think it is the best choice for me."