Falmouth is to celebrate its university status with a competition to design the University's ceremonial mace.

Open to graduates, staff and current students, the competition offers a unique opportunity to be a part of a historic moment for both the University and the region.

The mace, traditionally a symbol of the authority and character of an institution, is used at formal occasions and will denote the institution's degree awarding powers at future graduation ceremonies.

Professor Anne Carlisle, vice-chancellor and chief executive, said: "The life of the University mace could be over hundreds of years, so this is an exciting opportunity for a graduate, student or member of staff to make a very long-lasting contribution to the University through the design of our mace, which will be seen by thousands of future graduates and their families."

The winning entry will receive £500 and all entries will form part of an exhibition, book and film planned alongside the unveiling of the completed mace.

The competition will be officially launched by Professor Carlisle at the Falmouth and Penryn campuses today. Also presenting will be Dr David Hawkins, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation), who designed the mace for Plymouth University.