Universities and colleges in Leeds awarded share from a £135m pot to invest in facilities, buildings and equipments
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It comes following successful bids to a £135m pot of capital funding from the The Office for Students (OfS).
The funding, allocated for the 2021-22 financial year, consists of £128 million awarded through a bidding exercise, as well an allocation of £7.4 million distributed via a formula.
Successful bids had to demonstrate they offered good value for money, with details of how public money would be managed effectively through the project. Bids also needed to demonstrate how they met priority categories which covered laboratory-based subjects in science, technology and engineering; healthcare disciplines in medicine, dentistry, nursing, midwifery; veterinary science and archaeology and enhancement of graduate employability and skills needs of employers and industry; part-time and other forms of flexible provision.
Funding through the competitive bidding process has been provided to 100 universities, colleges and other higher education providers. Of these, 44 were awarded the maximum amount of £2m per provider - which included Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds.
At Leeds Beckett, funding will support the development of a specialist clinical skills suite and biomedical laboratory facilities to further enhance teaching, as well as the knowledge, skills and expertise of students in the university’s new School of Health. It will support growth and diversification in student intake, including courses and development opportunities for graduates and professionals throughout their careers.
The University of Leeds will use the £2m to support the construction of the Sir W H Bragg Building’s key new teaching spaces, and the purchasing of specialist equipment for STEM students. For the latter, the university plans to develop its simulation and audio-visual provision to support the teaching of dentistry clinical skills.
Leeds College of Building will use the awarded £700,000 to expand and refurbish teaching spaces to accommodate growth of student numbers, developing additional teaching rooms and housing new equipment within the existing estate. The dedicated rooms will be multi-functional, allowing for direct, instructional teaching, group work in seminars and delivery to large numbers through the opening of the rooms into two distinct spaces.
In total, the OfS received 166 bids requesting a total of £272m.
Nolan Smith, director of resources and finance at the OfS, said: "Good facilities, modern buildings and access to the right equipment are important elements to students having a positive experience of higher education. This was a very competitive funding round, with generally high quality applications across the board.
"The projects we are funding provide good value for money for the taxpayer, and will make a demonstrable and positive difference to students now and into the future. The projects will help with strategically important subjects which are expensive to deliver, as well as offering a boost to local and regional economies."
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