Reporter 446, 7 February 2000

Teaching space reply

Professor John Macklin

I am writing in response to Dr Slomson’s letter in the Reporter regarding the provision of large teaching space ‘at convenient times and in convenient places’.

We recognise that the University must continue to provide high-quality and appropriate teaching space. A great deal of investment has already been made, but it is also the case that resources and opportunities for making major changes are limited. The provision of adequate and well-equipped teaching space has been an issue regularly considered by various groups within the University, including the group on space issues, the learning and teaching board and academic development committee.

As large flat space becomes available, consideration is given to potential use. Throughout the early 1990s, the priority was to provide computer clusters and, more recently, to provide more seminar rooms. As new developments are planned and pedagogy changes, the provision of appropriate teaching space is reviewed with academic colleagues. Additional teaching space of various sizes has been provided by the work on the Baines wing and the western campus.

Consideration is naturally being given to the implications for teaching space of the proposed merger with Bretton Hall in the development of the estate strategy.

The University is required by the Audit Office to ensure that the use of existing space is maximised. Schools have been encouraged to make use of the full teaching week, and it is still possible to book space, including large space, at the less popular times. We continue to need to encourage staff to be as flexible as possible so that we all use available space as efficiently as possible.

As Dr Slomson observes in his letter, the University has been engaged in developing its learning and teaching strategy. Under aim 2.3 of the strategy, particular reference is made to improving teaching space by:

(1) Aligning the teaching space strategy with developments in learning and teaching;

(2) Effecting a rolling programme for the refurbishment of teaching space to bring all space to an agreed level of equipment and facilities starting with the largest and most heavily used areas;

(3) Revising the structure for the management and support of central University teaching space to provide a better service to all users.

I would welcome comments and suggestions from members of staff on specific ways in which they would like to see these measures implemented.

Token efforts

Frances Ledgard
City and regional office

The city and regional office’s campus connect team would be grateful for help in collecting tokens under the ‘Free Books for Schools 2000’ campaign launched in January. Tokens can be found in the Sunday Times, Times and other News International papers, and on Walkers crisp packets, until April.

This year’s campaign offers over 150 titles to choose from, plus maths resources, CD-Roms, audio tapes and large format books, requiring a minimum of 50 tokens each. The collected tokens will be passed to one or more of the local inner-city schools with which the office works using student volunteers.

Please forward to Natalie Moss, city and regional office, Room 12.20, E.C.Stoner Building. For further information call ext 4072.

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