University opens shiny new campus

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What has 32,000 carpet tiles, cost £60 million and has the ability to simulate childbirth?

The answer, what could be Scotland’s most advanced modern teaching facility.

Edinburgh Napier University yesterday (mon) opened its doors, 870 in total, at the revamped Sighthill campus to its 4500 health, life and social science students.

It is the first time that all students from this faculty will be based in the same place with state-of-the-art equipment.

Nursing students will have the opportunity to train in life-like Hospital Wards and intensive care treatment areas while the sports scientists will be privy to an environmental chamber, a space that replicates humid conditions for sports training.

There are also crime scene forensic rooms for the budding forensic scientists and for all students there is a five storey library with a 180 degree view of Edinburgh.

Leah Cunningham is a final year midwifery student who thinks the new facilities will be a huge benefit to students.  She said: “For nursing and midwifery students the facilities are amazing.

“As you can see it’s really like walking into a ward and its everything you need for training.  Before we even go out on placement we are prepared.”

Although not new to the university, there is a full-size pregnant dummy which Leah has been using to complete her training at Edinburgh Napier.

She said: “It even goes as far as to simulate birth, the lecturers control this by remote control.”

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Dame Joan Stringer, said: “I think this offers something unique, it merges the faculty and has specialist facilities that we are able to offer students and staff.

“This offers hands on experience in a building that has been specifically designed but also offers the highest standard of experience that any student can have.

“We have invested in that because we are offering what students want, there has been as increase in the number of student applications over the past few years.

“We give our students that edge because of the facilities that they have access to.”

Prof Stringer explained that the money was provided for the project through “well managed finances”.

She added: “We have been able to build up the capital required to invest in the future.”

The building is also environmentally sound and been awarded a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating for sustainability.

It has been built around an existing section of the previous Napier building and 8,000 cubic metres of demolition material has been reused and incorporated into the new building.

Paul Rodgers, Principal of Architects, RMJM Edinburgh said: “We wanted to make the most of the regenerative potential of the project and integrate the building with the local community.

“To achieve this we created a public space at the main entrance that leads directly to the central atrium, creating the social heart of the campus with informal learning space, a café and direct access to all the teaching areas.”

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