The Oculus, the University's new building dedicated to teaching, has been officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, who visited the campus on Thursday 30 March and unveiled a plaque in the building.
During her visit Her Royal Highness met students, members of the SU sabbatical team and academic teaching staff including Margaret Low and Rachel Dickinson, who last year were named as National Teaching Fellows. Her Royal Highness was also introduced to a team from the Warwick International Higher Education Academy: Professor Gwen Van der Velden, Academic Director; Student Fellows Jack Gaskell and Owen Thompson, who are leading the Engineers Without Borders Straw Bale Projec to build an eco-friendly teaching building on campus; and Ande Milinyte, WIHEA's Case Studies Coordinator. The Princess Royal was engaged in conversation with Jack and Owen, showing curiosity in the type of straw bale used today in comparison to the types used in the past. Her Royal Highness also showed a great deal of interest in WIHEA's work, commenting on the importance of promoting teaching exellence and student experience, and acknowledging the challenges faced by innovators in the higher education sector.
Commenting on the visit, Vice-Chancellor Stuart Croft said: “The Oculus has been designed to bring together the strengths of the University’s departments to widen the worlds of our students through innovative teaching resources and social learning spaces. We are extremely proud to have on our campus world class teaching and seminar spaces, innovative social learning and network spaces.”