Students can move from crime scene to courtroom without leaving the building

Students can move from crime scene to courtroom without leaving the building

A Staffordshire University building is getting a £2.2m makeover in a bid to better prepare students for their chosen careers.

The Ashley 2 building on the University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus is already home to mock courtrooms and hospital wards which are used by law and healthcare students respectively.

However, as part of the new Campus Transformation project, students from the School of Justice, Security and Sustainability will be able to make use of 12 new simulation spaces, which includes home settings such as bedrooms and living rooms, as well as a custody suite, prison cell, office and shop.

Professor Raheel Nawaz, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Digital Transformation at Staffordshire University, said: “Simmersive facilities like this help ensure that the student experience is as authentic as it can possibly be. Digitally-enabled simulation spaces allow our students to safely learn and train in immersive environments that evoke the intensity and high pressure of real-life situations.

“This means that upon graduation they are world-ready, confident, and prepared to respond to the wide range of scenarios they are likely to encounter in their careers.”

The building will also feature a new digital courtroom and observation room and all areas will be fully equipped with the latest digital and audio technology.  This enables students from Forensic Science, Policing and Investigation and Law to move seamlessly from crime scene to courtroom to rehearse scenarios they will face in their future careers.

The new facilities, which are set to be completed by Spring 2024, aim to provide more students with a next generation experience and position Staffordshire University as leaders in simmersive learning. Last year, the University launched its Centre for Health Innovation in Stafford which incorporates a range of simulation spaces modelled on real-world healthcare settings. It also features what is believed to be the world’s largest immersive interactive suite - a “blank canvas” room with ceiling-mounted technology that allows spaces to be switched to different real-world settings such as factories and warehouses, and public spaces including airports and shopping malls.

Mike Phillips, Executive Dean of the School of Health, Science and Wellbeing at Staffordshire University, said: “The feedback we’ve received from students since opening our Centre for Health Innovation last year has been phenomenal. Students, including our frontline health workers, have fed back that they now feel much more prepared when dealing with the demands of clinical practice.

“This is a direct result of learning and studying within simmersive environments. We’re looking forward to seeing more students across the University having the opportunity to experience, and benefit from, the exciting world of simmersive learning.”

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