The University is to invest £16M in new facilities for students, including lecture theatres, additional teaching space, and facilities for careers advice and student support.
Student numbers on campus have grown on average by 7% each year for the last three years, and are expected to continue to grow for a further three years, creating a need for additional facilities for both teaching and support services.
New plans to develop the University’s estate include an additional lecture theatre in the central area of campus, which will be constructed in the building currently housing the University’s Student Health Centre and Student Support Services. The lecture theatres and accompanying innovative learning spaces will provide a new environment for staff and students to be used for both timetabled activity and private study.
Jenny Tucker, Director of Facilities, Commercial and Residential Services, said: “Applications to study for a University of Liverpool degree are at an all-time high, increasing by more than 20% for 2015 entry and maintaining this level for 2016 entry. We continue to invest in our campus to support all academic plans and to deliver an exceptional student experience.”
“This new investment will deliver a superb lecture theatre hub for students and also enable us to make some of our most important services more accessible for students at the heart of University Square.”
The large lecture theatre, seating 300, will support the growth in student numbers and also compensate for the loss of the Duncan lecture theatres, which are located in the existing Liverpool Royal Hospital. The new complex will be complete in September 2018.
The University’s Careers and Student Support Services will move to University Square. The building which currently houses Blackwell’s bookshop and Café on the Square will be completely refurbished to accommodate the teams, bringing two of the University’s most important services for students to the very centre of campus.
Café on the Square will close on 22 July and Blackwell’s will move to the retail area of the University’s new student accommodation facility, Crown Place. Staff based at Café on the Square will be relocated to other areas of the University.
A new location is also being considered for Student Health; a further update about this will be provided once this is confirmed.
The new plans are part of a significant and ongoing investment by the University in the student experience. £3.6M will be invested in additional learning and teaching space over the next three years to support the University’s Education Strategy.
The University is currently redeveloping its Greenbank site in South Liverpool and investing £100M in a new student village, which will include four new accommodation blocks with 1,361 en suite rooms as well as a sports facility and sports pitches. The first phase is due to open in September 2017 and the second phase in September 2019.