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Solent University, Southampton has been awarded £4,339,500 of capital funding by the Office for Students to create, expand and modernise its courses, facilities and equipment in healthcare and STEM subject areas.

13th December 2022
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The funding will be used to address government and employer identified high priority areas, and improve the student experience by providing a real-world, cutting-edge learning experience.

Professor Syamantak Bhattacharya, Provost at Solent University says, "This funding will allow us to address real issues in education, employment and local, social and economic prosperity.

“By investing in specialist facilities and equipment, the University will provide a practice-based learning experience that meets industry standards and enhances students’ experiences.

“The new and existing courses supported by this investment will address growing demand for highly skilled individuals ready for nursing, biomedical science, digital technology, maritime and engineering careers, and the challenges and opportunities of the future.”

The funding will support the following projects:

  • A nursing clinical skills laboratory with expanded facilities and new courses, ensuring capacity for growth to address the national lack of student training placements.
  • The expansion of the Biomedical Science Department, development of new courses, refurbishment of existing laboratories and a new laboratory with specialist equipment for cell culture growth and analysis.
  • A new virtual production laboratory and virtual reality equipment, including stage, body scanner and motion capture system to facilitate specialist modules in simulated working environments.
  • A new Digital Centre of Excellence with a smart laboratory, artificial intelligence laboratory, user-experience laboratory and cyber-security laboratory.
  • An investment of over £5m of Department for Education and Solent funds to create a sustainable, state-of-the-art Institute of Technology Engineering Centre, including industry standard equipment to meet evolving sector requirements.

The capital funding to support each of these projects will also unlock substantial further cross-discipline and employer collaboration, such as:

  • Media technology will expand its current collaboration with Maritime, Nursing and Social Work to create augmented and virtual reality simulation to facilitate learning opportunities specifically relating to high-risk scenarios.
  • New interdisciplinary collaborations between Biomedical Science, Engineering, Nursing and Computer Science will be developed, providing graduate nurses with the skills needed for future healthcare diagnostics in the genomics era.

Professor Bhattacharya added: “Another key element of this work is Solent’s commitment to Widening Participation – working closely with schools, colleges and our local community organisations to reach out to students from non-traditional backgrounds.

“This investment will enable us to offer higher technical qualifications apprenticeships, blended learning opportunities and short courses to help all students to achieve their learning goals.”