£2 million for new state-of-the-art teaching facilities

£2 million for new state-of-the-art teaching facilities

Thousands of students at Oxford Brookes University are set to benefit from a £2 million investment into new technology-enhanced facilities and simulation equipment with a grant awarded from the Office for Students (OfS).

Supporting the University’s drive to apply modern and innovative teaching methods across its curriculum, the funding will develop two key areas of learning with virtual reality and simulation training.

Engineering, computer science and cybersecurity developments

A new immersive digital classroom area will be developed for engineering, computer science and cybersecurity students, giving 3D modelling and simulation capabilities. 3D projections will create an immersive virtual reality environment in the classroom, meaning students can move around a 3D model, manipulate the model or its parts, interact with it and assess it from different perspectives. This practice-based learning will help students develop skills for real-world situations, and allow them to work with industrial partners on a range of projects using the latest digital technologies.

In addition, a new Computer Integrated Manufacturing system will be installed, helping students to learn more about using computers and robots to automate the manufacturing and production process - for instance in automotive components and critical infrastructure industry sectors. The system will help students to build the skills needed in the smart manufacturing factories of the future.

Clinical experience built with new simulation facilities

Nursing, midwifery and allied health programmes will also benefit from a new, dedicated high fidelity clinical experience room and two immersive simulation training rooms, one at each campus in Oxford and Swindon. Both facilities will offer life-like simulated clinical scenarios, enabling students to rehearse specific skills and develop clinical competence in a realistic learning environment, without compromising the safety of a real patient.

These new learning environments will also enable students to work in uni- and multi-professional teams, developing their own personal skills and situation management abilities across a range of clinical scenarios, which they may not encounter in the real world during the period of their education. This experience will help students to prepare for working directly in the field at an enhanced level of competence and confidence.

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, said: “Thousands of future students will benefit from this significant investment, which brings the latest technology and equipment to Oxford Brookes, and supports our teaching ambitions.

“The experience our students will gain from this will directly benefit them as they enter the workplace, giving them confidence and the skills required to succeed in their careers. I’m absolutely delighted that this funding has been awarded and look forward to seeing the new facilities in action.”

A positive difference to students

The OfS funding of £128 million is shared between 100 different universities, colleges and other higher education institutions.

Director of resources and finance at the OfS, Nolan Smith, said: “Good facilities, modern buildings and access to the right equipment are important elements to students having a positive experience of higher education.

“This was a very competitive funding round, with generally high quality applications across the board. The projects we are funding provide good value for money for the taxpayer, and will make a demonstrable and positive difference to students now and into the future.”