Delivering an excellent student experience
Maintaining and improving the student experience is at the very heart of what we do.
We want this to be reflected in our buildings and facilities – that’s why we’re investing more than £50 million to improve our campuses and to deliver an environment fit for 21st century Higher Education.
“A natural learning environment with up to date equipment plus a range of new social areas for relaxing between lectures”
Tourism Management Student
Benefiting from our student-centred approach is Fiona Chin, a Tourism Management student who is studying at our new management school – a state-of-the-art facility which is focused on developing the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.
The building has reinforced the university’s credentials for being a leading centre in the UK for teaching and research in subjects including Business, Finance, Hospitality, and Tourism, and provides cutting-edge facilities for more than 160 staff and 2,000 students over four floors and 7,800 square metres.
Talking about her experience of UWIC, Fiona said: “UWIC is everything I want a university to be and its management school is modern, well-equipped and has immensely friendly and helpful staff.”
“The whole campus offers a very natural learning environment. It has a new Learning Centre with the most up-to-date IT equipment and there’s also a range of new social areas around campus, including a Starbucks coffee shop and a student centre which are ideal for relaxing in between lectures.”
“It’s great that the i-zone (Information Zone) has opened recently as knowing that I can find a solution to most queries in one place is reassuring.”
Designed by internationally renowned architects Austin-Smith:Lord, the new building includes two large lecture theatres with audio visual systems, three Harvard style lecture theatres, breakout spaces, a range of formal and informal learning and teaching areas, IT suites, a café with garden terrace, a professionally equipped training kitchen, restaurant and bar and cutting-edge research and enterprise facilities.
A striking glass atrium runs through the entire length of the building as a feature point of the new School together with its distinct staircase and exhibition space for artwork from UWIC’s Cardiff School of Art and Design. Copper cladding is also used as a design feature on the outside walls of the building.
Business guru Lord Digby Jones was the guest speaker at a flagship event held recently to celebrate the launch of the new School. The former CBI Director provided his views on business and the wider world to an audience of esteemed guests including Welsh business leaders, business experts, political figures and VIPs.
Speaking at the event, Lord Jones said: “I am delighted to be here to celebrate a wonderful institution’s advance and improvement and this building is like putting up a big sign for how wonderful education is. This School is all about getting people to believe in themselves and I applaud the university for ensuring that it is ready for tommorow’s world.”
Demonstrating its strong links to the business world, more than twenty leading organisations and companies, including John Lewis, Admiral Group, Deloitte and the Wales Millennium Centre, are sponsoring teaching rooms and lecture theatres in the new building. They will also provide guest speakers for lectures and events and quality work placement opportunities for students.
As well as teaching the business leaders of the future, the building is also a resource for the present business community. The School is working with its wide network of partner organisations to ensure its expertise, knowledge and facilities are deployed to help Wales realise its full economic and social potential. Its conference and meeting rooms are being used for seminars, conferences and networking events and a range of professional development courses on leadership and management will be offered to businesses and organisations.
David Pritchard, Dean of the Cardiff School of Management said: “This spectacular new building gives us the opportunity to innovate and develop an exemplar of what a modern management school is all about - strong in learning and teaching, research and enterprise and accessible to the local community.
“With state-of-the-art facilities, it allows Cardiff School of Management to build on its enviable reputation for attracting high-calibre students from around the world. It enables us to move on to the next stage of our mission to become a centre of excellence for professional development and a hub for joint learning with employers across the country,” he added.
UWIC is aiming to achieve a BREEAM rating of excellent for the centre’s range of sustainable and energy saving features. These include natural ventilation, rainwater harvesting and lighting controls with remote sensors to automatically dim lighting depending on daylight levels.
South Wales architects Austin-Smith:Lord have designed the iconic building. Tim Young of Austin-Smith: Lord said: “This building has been designed to make a statement about Cardiff as a modern capital of business. It seeks to convey a strong sense of confidence and progress, and has been designed to create a stimulating and flexible environment for learning and teaching.”
As part of a major framework agreement with South Wales based construction company Willmott-Dixon, UWIC has committed to investing more than £50m to improve its campuses and has recently launched a £4m Food Industry Centre, a multi-purpose Campus Centre, and completed extensive refurbishments at the university’s Schools of sport and education. The university has also opened a new Learning Resource Centre, Student Centre and Student Information Zone at its Llandaff campus.