May 2016

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If you are a Tier 4 student, please be aware that there is currently a telephone scam going around.

Tier 4 Sponsor Premium Customer Service Team explains the scam below:

The scam consists of the student receiving a telephone call from an individual who pretends to represent the Home Office.

The caller tells the student to verify their telephone number, 020 7035 4848 on the www.gov.uk website, search for Home Office, and then scroll down to the bottom of the screen so that they can verify that the caller is calling from the genuine Home Office number.  The caller ID on the student’s mobile does show this number.

The caller is in possession of the students full name, postcode in the UK and passport number, and asks the student to confirm those details are correct.

They then proceed to tell the student they have not paid for an immigration service and, as a result, have to pay a fine (usually £1200 – £1520) or they will be reported to the Police/or the Home Office who will detain or deport them.

Students who have been targeted have reported that the fraudsters become increasingly insistent and verbally aggressive resulting in them feeling coerced in to making payment.

With this information in mind, please do be extra vigilent. Contact the International Advice office at m.d.daley@reading.ac.uk with any queries.

If you’re a current student looking for short term work over the summer, why not apply to be an Open Day Ambassador?

We are recruiting current students to be ambassadors at our 2016 Open Days on:

Friday 17 and Saturday 18 June

Saturday 1 October

Saturday 8 October

Being an Open Day ambassador is a great opportunity to share your passion for the University. We’ll give you training and experience, and pay at least £56 per day – so sign up to as many as possible!

If you think you have what it takes, apply now: www.reading.ac.uk/opendayguides.aspx.

If you have any queries please contact studentguides@reading.ac.uk.

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The University Council has approved an £8.4 million investment for the creation of temporary alternative teaching space during major redevelopment projects.

Over the next few years, the University will be making significant investments into the improvement and redevelopment of our campuses. Key locations, such as the Library and the URS Building, will be undergoing major transformations that will greatly enhance the quality of our facilities and your experience as a student here.

The scale of our plans mean that temporary relocation is unavoidable. By creating purpose-built temporary accommodation, we can ensure that our high standards of teaching and learning can continue in the midst of major construction works.

Known as the ‘Chancellor’s Building’, the temporary accommodation will provide a versatile and stimulating teaching space, packed with specialist equipment and modern fittings. It will be located on the site of the recently demolished Rural History Centre on Chancellor’s Way, with work anticipated to begin this summer. The temporary space will start to be used in January 2017, and will have a lifespan of 5 years.

Spanning two floors, the Chancellor’s Building will provide 14 teaching rooms varying from 24 – 150 seats, two teaching/research labs, a PC lab, along with social break out spaces. It will also include more specialist features, including a dedicated resource centre, a new Building Information Modelling (BIM) lounge and an immersive virtual reality ‘CAVE’ that will enable you to interact with 3D digitised environments.

The first occupants of the Chancellor’s Building will be the School of Construction Management and Engineering (SCME). At the end of this year, SCME students and staff located in the URS and Engineering buildings will move over to the temporary accommodation to coincide with the redevelopment of the URS Building. During the refurbishment of the URS Building, teaching rooms that can be booked through our central booking system will be relocated within the Chancellor’s Building.

The £8.4m investment is inclusive of VAT, and also covers the demolition of the Rural History Centre, the resurfacing of Chancellor’s Way and the creation of a new footpath. Further details of the project, including planned work schedules, will follow shortly.

 

The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey is open!

Please take a few minutes to complete it. The survey is your chance to tell us about your experience of your course. Your feedback is important as the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey is carried out by institutions across the country and lets us know what’s working well and what’s not, helping us make things better in the future.

When you complete the survey, you will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win an iPad!

To complete the survey, visit https://reading.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/ptes-2016-uor 

You will have been sent an email by studentcomms@reading.ac.uk, which includes your own login credentials. If you missed it, don’t worry, you will be sent another.

The survey is open until 16th June 2016 and will take only around 15 minutes to complete. Your responses will be treated confidentially, and all results are aggregated before being distributed to your School or Department and it will not be possible for them to identify you from your answers.

If you experience any technical issues with logging in or completing the PTES survey, please contact:

planningandstrategy@reading.ac.uk

If you have any other queries about the survey, please email Emma Kay, Student Communications Officer on studentcomms@reading.ac.uk

Find out more about the survey here https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/research/surveys/postgraduate-taught-experience-survey-ptes

Please take this opportunity to get involved this year and help us make improvements to your course, for students like you.

 

The University has appointed the award-winning firm, ISG Fit Out Ltd. as the contractor for the Library refurbishment.

Our Procurement and Estates & Facilities teams collaborated to select ISG Fit Out as the best contractor for this project, based on their competitive costing, quality assurance and technical suitability.

We will now be working with ISG Fit Out to share detailed outlines of the redevelopment, including early works taking place this summer.

This major redevelopment continues the popular refurbishments of the upper Library floors carried out in 2013–2014, and will deliver further benefits and improvements for you. On the Ground and First floors, study space will be increased, security will be improved, an improved service for borrowing and returning books will be put into place and the café space will be extended. Throughout the building, new lifts will be installed to provide better disabled access, additional toilets will be added and energy services (including heating and ventilation) will be optimised.

The Library will remain open and fully operational throughout the redevelopment.

Important information about the project, such as the provision of alternative study space and notice of disruptive works will be shared with you all at the earliest possible time. An indicative overview of the project is as follows:

Preparatory works: Summer 2016

  • Building site prepared and protective hoardings erected inside and outside the building.
  • Demolition and construction around the Ground Floor’s outer edges and the Basement; new lift core installation begins; south stair core demolition.

Main works:

  • Autumn 2016: Construction of new stair core.
  • Early 2017 – Autumn 2017: Roof works and new plant and equipment installed. Refurbishment of the First floor – area closed completely, aiming to reopen autumn 2017 with new individual IT workspaces, IT group study spaces and group study rooms.
  • Autumn 2017 – Summer 2018: Ground floor refurbishment, aiming to reopen Easter 2018 with extended café, extra study spaces, new entrance, staircase and lifts. Existing lifts and staircase closed for demolition to create new print and refreshment areas on each floor.
  • Spring – Winter 2018: Fourth floor refurbishment; improved heating and insulation, additional toilets, print and refreshment hub.
  • Winter 2018 – Summer 2019: Third floor refurbishment; improved heating and insulation, additional toilets, print and refreshment hub.
  • Summer – Late Autumn 2019: First section of Second floor refurbishment – the rest remains open.
  • Autumn 2019: Second section of Second floor refurbishment – first half reopens.
  • Winter 2019: Second floor refurbishment completed; improved heating and insulation, additional toilets, print and refreshment hub. Basement works.
  • Winter 2019: Refurbishment due to be completed.

Further details of the redevelopment can be found at www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb. Please remember to check back regularly for new project updates.

There are now new updates available on the Teaching and Learning Support Centres.

Find updates on our Essentials page, and read through Chief Operating Officer David Savage’s letter to RUSU President, and President elect here.