The £3.5m investment will double the size of the University’s specialist digital facilities and will create a campus which aims to blend the digital and natural world and provide students with an unrivalled learning experience and ‘create the uncreated’. The expansion will take place over summer at Here East – London’s innovation and technology campus situated in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Mapped against accelerating industry growth, the high-tech expansion will also pave the way for exciting new courses in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science & Informatics and Financial Technologies in 2022. The campus is also planning further additions to its course portfolio in the areas of entertainment technologies, virtual production and cybercrime and digital investigation as well as next generation games courses.
Staffordshire University London, which is less than two years old, is already home to 135 students studying on a range of courses including Esports, Computer Science, Concept Art for Games and Film, Computer Games Design and Cyber Security.
From September, Staffordshire University London will comprise three distinct areas:
- The Production Warehouse. This existing space will be enhanced with new Virtual Production suite incorporating AR, VR and motion capture tracking integrated into a virtual broadcast platform. A fully equipped post-production suite will also be added for use by Games and Esports students.
- The Data Junction is described as a mega lab featuring wireless casting and presenting facilities which reflect the very best industry facilities, plus meeting spaces and a self-serve coffee bar. This will house our growing community of computer science students and feature new cyber and networking labs.
- The Digital Loft is being created with a hybrid digital and natural world aesthetic. It includes Reload, a showpiece retro gaming café, which features innovative touch screen tables for food orders and getting live updates on activities and events. For use by all students and staff, this space features collaboration zones, a presentation space, a Recharge area and a faith room.
Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes CBE DL said:
“Digital has been part of our University’s DNA for more than half a century and our Staffordshire University London campus has provided us the opportunity to create an outstanding facility dedicated to supporting our next generation of industry professionals through technology-enabled learning.
“At the same time, we are also mindful that we need to provide students with a positive student experience which is why the design aesthetic, and bringing the outside in, is so important. Our expansion also means that we will be welcoming new staff dedicated to providing wellbeing support, advice and activities for our growing student community.”
Overseeing the project, Director of Staffordshire University London Matt Brindley-Sadler said:
“Our number one priority is to create an exciting and vibrant campus where students and staff, alongside our external stakeholder partners, come together and truly ‘Create the Uncreated’. Our focus is on collaborative working and harnessing new technologies to drive innovation.
“This is a core remit for us as we seek to accelerate new and exciting pilot projects underpinned by our culture of incubation. As a valued member of the Here East education and innovation ecosystem, we are growing our networks and working with our digital industry neighbours across the wider campus and East London conurbation to share our resources and expertise.
“This investment will enable us to engage more widely with local schools, colleges, and organisations dedicated to providing opportunities for the local communities to upskill and embrace social mobility.”
Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East comments:
“Since joining Here East, Staffordshire University London has been a highly valued member of our community, contributing significantly to our campus and becoming actively involved in the programmes we run. Despite the pandemic putting the future of universities in an uncertain spotlight, they have undergone a significant period of growth over the last year and we are thrilled to be able to accommodate their expanding campus. We are really excited about the new courses that will be offered to students on campus and are looking forward to our continued work on bridging the gap between education and industry. Whilst the last year has been challenging for the commercial property sector, we are proud that at Here East we are able to offer expansive and flexible spaces and attract a growing number of business seeking a different type of space in this new world of work.”
Longer term, Staffordshire University London aims to grow its research and enterprise activities in partnership with industry stakeholders and create exciting new opportunities for students to work on real life projects that have commercial outputs.