Building world class Universities
Photo Credit To Balfour Beatty

Building world class Universities

Building world class Universities

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has today published its paper “Universities Fit for the Future: How to thrive in a skills economy”.

Universities in the UK have a vital role in addressing critical skills shortages and unlocking economic growth and productivity; however, while the UK currently has record numbers of students – 1.7 million young people in full time higher education – universities will have to adapt if they are to thrive.

The university experience, from lectures to the library will need to be reinvented. Students on campus now expect a seamless and integrated digital experience. The boom in 24/7 learning is already replacing the traditional academic structure, and this will only continue to grow.

In this paper, Balfour Beatty lays out its vision for universities of the future; specifically, the infrastructure which will be required to support the changing needs of students across accommodation, lecture halls, and libraries.

A digital impression of the completed Manchester Engineering Campus Development
A digital impression of the completed Manchester Engineering Campus Development

Accommodation. Students are paying significant amounts for their degrees and expect their accommodation to reflect this to facilitate a positive learning and living environment with access to high quality spaces for cooking and dining, study, interaction and recreation. Additionally today’s students demand high-performing Wi-Fi as standard, to enable them to watch lectures remotely, undertake research and organize their lives.

Lecture halls and learning spaces. Students are increasingly demanding cross-disciplinary learning which will see the development of new purpose-built hubs bringing business and universities together. Teaching spaces will also need to become more dynamic and flexible, as students listen to lectures from other locations while attending campus for tutorials and seminars.

Libraries. The library has not been the starting point for accessing information for many years and libraries will continue to evolve as they become even less book orientated. The library will have to become more accessible, with 24/7 access policies, self-service loan facilities, welcoming cafés and digital solutions to access information with greater use of online journals, e-books and digitised versions of core texts.

Robert Byrnes, Framework Manager for The University of Manchester at Balfour Beatty, said: “To thrive today and to compete for the best and brightest students across the globe our universities will need to customize their offer and work more closely with business to give young people the skills that are directly relevant to the workplace guaranteeing them employability. This offer needs to be reflected in the campuses in which students live and learn.”

To read the paper in full, please click here and get involved in the conversation using #Expertengineers.

Post source : Balfour Beatty

About The Author

Anthony has worked in the construction industry for many years and looks forward to bringing you news and stories on the highways industry from all over the world.

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