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£120m accommodation at University of Hertfordshire unveiled

New student accommodation at the University of Hertfordshire College Lane Campus has officially opened

Posted by Hannah Oakman | November 08, 2016 | Bricks & mortar

University of Hertfordshire College Lane Campus officially opened on Tuesday 25th October 2016 and it is a significant milestone in the University’s Estates 2020 vision.

The 3,000 bed student accommodation project, developed by Uliving and built by Bouygues UK, brings to a conclusion a three year £120m redevelopment plan for the university and builds on its vision.

University of Hertforshire’s vision is to be internationally renowned as the UK’s leading business-facing university. It strives to be innovative and enterprising, whilst challenging individuals and organisations to excel.

Dr Julia Schofield MBE, a leading technology consultant and champion for utilising technology to meet the needs of people with disabilities, opened the Schofield accommodation. Julia studied Computer Science at the University in the 1970s and she was the first blind female to do so.  

Julia said: “I am lucky because my time here enabled me to get into a field I really wanted to work in. I was surprised to be asked and I am extremely honoured.”

The university has a student community of over 24,800 including more than 4,100 overseas students from 100 different countries, and it has a global network of over 210,00 alumni. Consquently, the University of Hertfordshire invited some of their most admired alumni to open the buildings. 

Our architects have done an absolutely magnificent job. I am delighted that we now have space for so many more students yet have managed to keep our wonderful green space on campus

Diane Maclean, sculptor and environmental artist, opened the Maclean accommodation. Diane studied Art and Design at the University in the 1980s and is a long-standing supporter of the University. Her stainless steel creation “The Mountain”, commissioned for the Natural History Museum, sits outside main reception.

Diane said: “My degree here was amazingly inspirational. The University provided me with skills to embark on a career in sculpture which I am still doing today. I am extremely grateful and very proud to be part of the University.”

Mike Newton, a Computer Science graduate who has been a major contributor to the development of the computing industry, opened the Newton accommodation. Mike has worked with well-known companies such as Apple and Dell. He is an advocate for technology education and supports early career technologists.

He said: “I am honoured that the University has chosen to name their student accommodation after me. I have very fond memories of my time here. I would also like to take this opportunity to praise the University for being an early adopter of Apprenticeship Degrees.  When I came to Hatfield over 45 years ago, Computer Science was a ground breaking course. I feel that the early take up of Apprenticeship Degrees is proof that the University of Hertfordshire has not lost its desire to be at the cutting edge.”

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor at the University, commented: “Our architects have done an absolutely magnificent job. I am delighted that we now have space for so many more students yet have managed to keep our wonderful green space on campus. We have a truly fantastic campus here and I’m delighted we have four of our most prestigious alumni here to open the buildings which have been named after them.”

The residences were officially opened on the same day as the opening of The Oval and the Hutton Hub.

The Oval is a Centre providing sports and social facilities as well as an information point for students. The Ovalwill be named Sir Stuart Matthews Centre in recognition of alumnus Sir Stuart Matthews and his long-standing contribution to the aviation industry which began at Hatfield Technical College. Most notably Sir Stuart helped build the Comet, the world's first jet airline.

Sir Stuart Matthews said: “I want to take the opportunity to say how proud I am to have graduated from Hertfordshire and to have this building named after me. I was one of the very first students here sixty years ago when it was Hatfield Technical College and it’s hard to believe that the University has become what it is today.”

The Vice-Chancellor finished the event by opening The Hutton Hub which is a unique building which brings together all student services in one location. It includes services such as the Student Centre, Careers Service, Campus Pharmacy and Medical Centre, Student Union and a branch of Santander. 

The Hutton Hub takes its name from the Hutton building, which was built on the site in 1948 and named after Dr Hutton, the first head teacher of Hatfield School. The School was later relocated to new premises in the town and Hatfield Polytechnic expanded on the College Lane site.

For more information about the new accommodation, visit www.herts.ac.uk

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