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Press Release - 15 November 2006

Student service improved over the year

A message from Ian Jamieson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Learning & Teaching:

Students are often asking what improvements have been made at the University during the last year as a result of things like the National Student Survey and all the other surveys of student opinion that we do.

The University is constantly changing in its attempt to improve what it does. This short article highlights just some of the changes we have made in the last year or so.

Buildings
• Completion of the Sports Training Village open 7 days a week to students, staff and the community. One of the finest facilities of its type of any UK university
• Complete refurbishment of the University Hall to provide a 390 seat lecture theatre
• Working with the students on the design, we have completely refurbished level 2 of the library to create an entirely new student learning space. Completely new Library entrance. Extra 32 reading spaces installed at the basement level of the Library plus bookable students’ workroom
• Start of the complete refurbishment of the Eastwood and Westwood residential blocks
• Extension and refurbishment of the Parade Bar
• Refurbishment of the Plug Bar
• Improved retail area, re-landscaping the ponds.

Information Technology
• Campus network upgraded to 10 G bits per second
• 123 PCs in the Library/Learning Centre upgraded to the very latest technological standard
• All student bedrooms are now connected to the campus network and internet at no extra charge
• On-line registration and fee payments system. And students can now check their assessment results on line.

Sport and Recreation
• Sports Training Village extended hours during vacations to cater for the needs of students, particularly international students who do not return home
• We are still the only university in the country which has free access to swimming, sports pitches and sports halls for badminton, tennis and squash
• Developed the intra mural programme in conjunction with the Students’ Union to offer students more recreational facilities
• We offer scholarship support for talented athletes through the TASS scheme – that is 120 students benefiting from scholarships of £3k each.

Student Support
• With the introduction of student fees by the government we have created a comprehensive and easy to understand scheme of student bursaries. This is administered through our one-stop Student Money Service
• Strengthened the support we offer students with mental health problems. We have put more resource in the counselling service, set up the Student Mental Health Self Help Group, employed a part-time student mental health worker, and strengthened links in this area with the local NHS
• Extended the counselling support service to the Oakfield campus
• Increased staffing in the Learning Support Office
• Employed a community liaison officer to improve our relations with the local community in the town
• Drawn up a Disability Equality Scheme
• The Chaplaincy has instituted an annual inter-faith dialogue between Christians, Muslims and Jews
• Significant moves to offer more support for our international students. This has included a new mentoring scheme for overseas students; special careers guidance, the opening of a new shop ‘Fresh Oriental’ providing a range of Chinese and Oriental food
• Careers Service now offering the opportunity of work placements with bursaries for those students not on placement degrees
• Introduction of Residential Security off campus to increase the safety of our students.

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