On Friday 30th November, The University of Chichester has welcomed Chichester MP Gillian Keegan to its newly-opened Tech Park to see first-hand how the landmark development is producing graduates with skills to help the UK remain industrially-competitive on a global scale.
Gillian met with Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Longmore for a tour of the £35million construction, based at the University’s Bognor Regis campus, which brings together degree courses in STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
The Tech Park’s combines purpose-built workshops, laboratories, and equipment with an innovative approach to learning which takes on board input from the commercial sector, designed to produce well-rounded, creative engineers who meet current and future requirements of industry and beyond.
Input into the creation of the curriculum from Sussex businesses has helped the University to design courses which will produce graduate engineers fit for purpose to take UK industry into the fourth industrial revolution. Facilities offered within its Engineering department includes a large space for engineering design-build-test work (the CDIO initiative), dedicated electronics and mechanics laboratories, a fabrication laboratory, 3D printers and facilities to teach Computer Aided Design.
Also included is the University’s existing Creative and Digital Technology department, now located at the development, to build on its already-established international reputation in the world of film, animation, special effects, gaming, and supporting skills such as screenplay and score writing. It includes a 300 square-metre sound stage (one of only three in the south capable of accommodating a professional orchestra), a dedicated 75 square-metre green screen stage, a ‘Soho’-standard dubbing and master suite, professional recording studios, and a screening theatre.
Mrs Keegan said: “The courses on offer and the wide range of facilities at the University of Chichester’s new tech park are incredible, it makes me want to go back to university. Every visit I make to the University reveals more innovation and a clear commitment to the regional community. The model of integrating businesses both in the design and application of the courses available is extremely valuable, as it ensures students will graduate with practical skills that businesses really want.”
The construction has so far received the backing from more than 40 industry organisations, including Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Sony, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises which have declared a shortage of workers with STEM skills.
For more about Tech Park at the University of Chichester go to steam.chi.ac.uk.