The number of people graduating in Cornwall with degree level qualifications has increased almost fourfold in the last ten years to nearly 3,000.
Figures released by the Combined Universities in Cornwall, which is a partnership of five universities and colleges in Cornwall, show that 2,944 people graduated in 2012 compared to just 798 in 2002.
The dramatic increase reflects an investment of £316 million in higher education in Cornwall during the same period and concerted efforts by the CUC partners to give more people the opportunity to study in Cornwall.
Research has also shown that a high proportion of those graduates – around 38% – go on find work in Cornwall and another 22% in the wider south west.
Commenting on the figures, CUC director Dr Sue Brownlow said: “The dramatic increase in the number of people graduating in Cornwall reflects the huge investment we have seen in Higher Education in recent years and the opportunities this creates for thousands more people to study to degree level.
“And the really good news is the number of graduates who choose to find work in Cornwall, bringing new talent and enthusiasm to local businesses and helping them grow.
“Building a workforce with higher level skills is vital for our economy and all the evidence points to a clear link between graduates and sustainable business growth.”