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The Princess Royal officially opens University of Warwick’s new teaching building

The University of Warwick’s new teaching building, the Oculus, has been officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

The Princess Royal visited the campus on Thursday 30 March and unveiled a plaque in the building which is the University’s first dedicated completely to teaching. The Oculus consists of two large state-of-the-art tiered lecture theatres, 12 other top quality flexible teaching spaces, study areas and a café.

Her Royal Highness was received by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands, Mr John Crabtree and was presented to a number of dignitaries including the Vice-Chancellor, University of Warwick Professor Stuart Croft, Chairman of WMG Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, the High Sheriff of West Midlands, Dr Keith Bradshaw and the Lord Mayor of Coventry Councillor Lindsley Harvard.

Princess Anne is introduced to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Warwick Professor Stuart Croft (Photo: University of Warwick)

Commenting on the visit Professor Croft said: “The Oculus has been designed to bring together the strengths of the University’s departments to widen the worlds of 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.”

During her visit Her Royal Highness met students and staff including two members of academic staff who last year were named as National Teaching Fellows; Margaret Low, principal teaching fellow, WMG and Rachel Dickinson, principal teaching fellow, Warwick Business School. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) is run by the Higher Education Academy to recognise and celebrate the absolute highest standards of learning and teaching across higher education. HRH was also introduced to Professor Gwen Van der Velden, academic director, Warwick International Higher Education Academy.

The Princess Royal officially opens University of Warwick’s new teaching building and is introduced to Student Union Societies Officer Marissa Beatty and Student Union Officer Ted Crowson by Prof Christine Ennew CBE, Provost University of Warwick (Photo: University of Warwick)

At the end of her tour of the building The Princess Royal unveiled the plaque in the ground floor foyer. It is the second time Her Royal Highness has marked the development of the Oculus. In October 2015 HRH visited the University to celebrate its 50th Anniversary and unveiled the foundation stone of the building.

This month (March) the QS World University Rankings by Subject were published placing 10 subjects at the University of Warwick to be in the world’s top 50 – with one, English and Comparative Literary Studies, in the top 20. In February the University was as one of the world’s most international universities by the THE (Times Higher Education). Recognised for its international outlook, research influence and global academic reputation, Warwick was ranked 17th in the world.

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