New ¬£750,000 virtual and augmented reality suite is ready to launch
Telford College will be officially opening its new ¬£750,000 virtual and augmented reality suite on December 13.
The top floor of the college’s W block at its Haybridge campus is taking technology-led learning to a new dimension with an array of cutting-edge equipment.
More than half a million pounds of funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has helped to create the new suite, which will help train students and workers in the innovative digital and technical skills vital to the region’s economy.
Kitted out with the latest immersive virtual and augmented reality teaching aids and software packages, including:
- A virtual reality ‘cave’ which can transport you into a learning or working environment
- Interactive mirrors, and ‘smart glasses’
- Virtual reality and motion simulators
- A hydroscopic 3D presentation screen
Graham Guest, principal and chief executive of the college, said: “We’re all really excited about the opportunities which this new suite will open up for students, as well as for our partners and local businesses.
“This is the future of learning – education has to adapt to young people’s modern-day lifestyles, which means we should no longer put all the emphasis on traditional classroom-style tuition.
“What we have created here at Telford College is one of the most exciting, sophisticated and interactive learning experiences in the region, adding to our university-standard facilities.”
The new suite is part of a range of investments in the Haybridge campus since the merger of Telford College of Arts and Technology, and New College Telford, last year.
Invited guests will try out the new facilities at the official launch on 13 December, and the public get their first chance to immerse themselves in the virtual and augmented reality world at the college’s next open event on 23 January. For more details, see www.defineyourfuture.co.uk.
Mr Guest said: “Combining the knowledge, skills and facilities on our campus is a perfect time to reflect on our curriculum, and the introduction of virtual and augmented reality technology is a key ingredient in this.
“We want to be at the forefront of education, which is why we are bringing in virtual reality and
new technologies to inspire students. It will revolutionise ways of teaching and learning.”
Telford College has worked closely on the project with technology companies like EON Reality, an international virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) solutions provider for education and enterprise.
Mark Bridgeman, Global Chief Operating Officer and UK MD at EON Reality, said: “Telford College has bolstered their further and higher education offerings for all 2,000 students by opening a dedicated Augmented and Virtual Reality Suite powered by EON Reality’s AVR Platform.”
The college has also been working closely with local technology company Virtual Reality Simulation Systems, which specialises in augmented reality, virtual reality, and motion simulation.
Virtual Reality Simulation Systems’ Chief executive Tim Luft said: “As they embark on a new journey, they are leading the way in which UK colleges adopt virtual reality and augmented reality as an everyday teaching tool.”
Marches LEP chairman Graham Wynn said: “We are delighted to support this fantastic new facility which will help ensure that this region has the necessary skills and training to enable it to thrive and prosper.
“We are committed to ensuring that our existing workforce has the latest digital and technical skills which are critical for all business sectors and that our youngsters leave education fully-equipped to play their part in the modern workplace. This new suite will play an important role in delivering those aims.”
Interact with Graham
Hear Graham Guest’s virtual presentation and immerse yourself in our world.
About the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership
The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is driving accelerated economic growth through investment in innovation, higher level skills, housing and business sites across the region.
- The Marches region, which includes Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, is a dynamic business region where entrepreneurs flourish alongside global players. Covering 2,300 sq miles and with a growing population of 684,300, it is home to 30,775 businesses and a ¬£14.3 billion economy
- Bordered by the West Midlands to the east and Wales to the west, the Marches’ key centres of population and employment are the city of Hereford and thriving towns of Shrewsbury and Telford. A network of 25 smaller market towns and a large rural area make up the rest of the settlement mix – with the Marches recognised as being one of the most enterprising regions in the UK
- High profile businesses which have chosen to base operations here include BAE Defence Systems; GKN; Westons Cider; Grainger & Worrall; Stadco; Caterpillar; Mœãller Dairy UK, Doncasters Aerospace, Denso, Capgemini, Ricoh, Cargill, Heineken, Grocontinental, McConnels, Kerry Ingredients, Special Metals, Kingspan and Makita
- The Marches is also home to centres of excellence and institutions which promote and foster the transfer of knowledge including Harper Adams University and its National Centre for Precision Farming, University Centre Shrewsbury, the University of Wolverhampton campus and e-innovation centre at Priorslee, and Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury
- The designated Enterprise Zone of the Marches LEP is in Hereford, at Skylon Park. It is the only Enterprise Zone in England with a unique defence and security sector focus, drawing on the city’s heritage as the home of the SAS
- The LEP area is home to some iconic places of interest. The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, the Shropshire Hills and the Wye Valley Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Offa’s Dyke, the rivers Severn and Wye, and places of national renown including Ludlow and Ross-on-Wye make it a highly popular place to both visit and relocate to
- The Marches has a diverse business base and is recognised for its sector strength in advanced manufacturing and engineering; agri-food and drink; automotive and defence & security
- Business support in the Marches is offered via the Marches Growth Hub, a business-friendly website at marchesgrowthhub.co.uk and helpline on 0345 6000 727, developed by the LEP
- You can learn more about the Marches LEP at marcheslep.org.uk and contact the LEP by emailing email@example.com
About the Local Growth Fund
Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over ¬£12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.
Some Midlands Engine key facts:
The government is committed to making the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone. The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and over 780,000 businesses.
So far the Government has awarded ¬£1.9 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Midlands.