Student Services News

News from the Student Services Centre (Carrington Building)

Month: August 2016

Library Refurbishment: late August / early September

Construction work at the Library will continue over the next few weeks, with major tasks focusing on the completion of hoardings and preparations for the demolition of the glassed-in staircase near CaféLibro.

Main works proposed up to Sunday 11 September 2016 are:

  • Works will continue in the entrance hall on the Ground Floor, producing a noticeable difference in layout, as hoarding will continue to be erected around some of the pillars and the glass enclosed stairs. The aim is to substantially complete the temporary walls by the 2 September. The IT and Library catalogue PCs have relocated under the main stairs opposite.
  • The set-up of hoardings on the First, Second, Third and Fifth floors will be completed and decorated.
  • On the Second floor, a steel frame will hold a temporary wall by the tall columns near the Information Desk in the group study area. . The area is proposed to reopen by Friday 2 September 2016 (please bear in mind that this may be subject to change). If you wish to use a group study space in the meantime, please use the Fourth or Ground floors instead.
  • Once the Second floor reopens the Fourth floor Group Study area will then be taken out of action and the works carried out on the Second floor will be repeated here. During the Fourth Floor closure please use the reopened Group Study areas on the Second Floor.
  • Outside the Library, hoardings will be set-up around the new cycle shed area so that ground works can begin. Foundations and groundworks will continue around the grass area behind the Library to allow for site offices to be delivered. In addition, a new bin store will be built near to the Chaplaincy.
  • Don’t forget that CafeLibro will remain open for business as usual.

A floor-by-floor outline of works outlined above can be found here.  In addition, our contractors ISG have prepared a helpful news bulletin tracking progress over the past month.

We remind both students and staff not to enter areas cordoned off for work, such as the Second floor group study area for their own safety.

The noisiest phases of work will be carried out each morning up until 10:00am.

If you have any queries about the works taking place, please contact Robin Hunter. Additional information about the Library refurbishment can be found at

Concept image of the Library following completion of the refurbishment.

Concept image of the Library following completion of the refurbishment.

Money mule warning

Please see below the following message from Thames Valley Police


Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)


Students are being recruited, sometimes unwittingly, as “mules” by criminals to transfer illegally obtained money between different bank accounts.

What is a money mule?
A money mule is someone who is recruited by those needing to launder money obtained illegally. Criminals advertise fake jobs in newspapers and on the internet in a number of ways, usually offering opportunities to make money quickly, in order to lure potential money mule recruits. These include:

Social media posts
Copying genuine company’s websites to create impression of legitimacy
Sending mass emails offering employment
Targeting individuals that have posted their CVs on employment websites

Students are particularly susceptible to adverts of this nature. For someone in full-time education, the opportunity for making money quickly can understandably be an attractive one. The mule will accept money into their bank account, before following further instructions on what to do with the funds. Instructions could include transferring the money into a separate specified account or withdrawing the cash and forwarding it on via money transfer service companies like Western Union or MoneyGram. The mule is generally paid a small percentage of the funds as they pass through their account.

Money Laundering is a criminal offence which can lead to prosecution and a custodial sentence. Furthermore, it can lead to the mule being unable to obtain credit in the UK and prevented from holding a bank account.


Protect Yourself
Be aware that the offence of money laundering carries a maximum prison sentence, in the UK, of 14 years.
Never give the details of your bank account to anyone that you do not trust.
No legitimate company will ever ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money. Don’t accept any job offers that ask you to do this.
Be wary of unsolicited emails or social media posts promising ways of earning easy money. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Don’t be afraid to question the legitimacy of any businesses that make you a job offer, especially if the recruitment procedure strays from the conventional.

University closed Friday 26 and Monday 29 August 2016

Staff and students are reminded that the University will be closed on Friday 26 and Monday 29 August 2016.

Friday 26 August is a closure day for staff in celebration of the University’s 90th anniversary year. Monday 29 August is a bank holiday.

All buildings across campus will close from 5pm, Thursday 25 August. Buildings can only be accessed if prior notice has been given to Heads of Schools / Functions and agreed with Security.

Colleagues are reminded to check that all windows and doors are locked before leaving. Don’t leave items of value in plain sight, and lock up valuable items wherever possible.

The campus will reopen fully on Tuesday 30 August.

To contact Security Services email or call 0118 378 7799. For emergencies, please contact 0118 378 6300.

Blackboard unavailable during system upgrade – August Bank Holiday Monday

A Blackboard upgrade is planned for August Bank Holiday Monday.

The system will be unavailable to users while this work is carried out, from 15:00 BST on Monday 29th August, until the morning of Tuesday 30th August.

Once the upgrade is complete, IT staff will carry out checks, before making the service available to users once more.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused by this maintenance work.

URS Building obtains Grade 2 listing

9054The URS Building has been registered as a Grade 2 listed building.

The initial recommendation was made by Historic England as part of a review of the University’s plans to redevelopment the site. Following Historic England’s recommendation, The Department of Culture, Media & Sport have now granted Grade 2 listing status.

The full implications of the listing are now being assessed by the redevelopment design team. We will be looking at which elements of the scheme can be retained, but clearly modifications in some areas will be required.

We will keep you updated on any amendments to the design and as pre-application discussions with Wokingham Borough Council are undertaken. The University will be working closely with Wokingham Borough Council to finalise what may be done to the building.

The URS Building is an example of Brutalist architecture, which flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. Last June, the University announced that the URS Building would undergo a £35 million refurbishment set to begin January 2017. The refurbished URS Building will house the School of the Built Environment (School of Construction Management and Engineering; School of Architecture) and the School of Arts and Communication Design (Department of Art; Department of Typography and Graphic Communication).

During the refurbishment, School of Construction Management and Engineering (SCME) will be relocated from the URS and Engineering Buildings into the Chancellors Building. Revised details will be passed on as early as possible.

Library Refurbishment: works 15–21 August

Early works for the Library refurbishment will continue over the course of the week.

Following on from last week, the majority of activity will focus on the erection of hoardings inside and outside the Library and preparations for the demolition of the glassed-in staircase near CaféLibro.

  • External hoardings continue to be set up around the outside of the Library, and are due to be complete by September.
  • Inside the Library, internal hoardings continue to be set up between the Ground and Fourth floors.
  • CafeLibro remains open for business as usual despite a few noticeable changes to the café area. Hoardings will be erected within the café, and the vending machines and fridges have been moved alongside the café windows.
  • The Second floor group study area remains closed so that hoarding can be erected. Please use group study space on the Fourth or Ground floors.
  • On the Ground floor, hoarding is going up inside the entrance atrium, around the closed, glass-enclosed stairs, ready for demolition. The IT and Library catalogue PCs have relocated under the main stairs opposite.

Students and staff are reminded not to enter areas cordoned off for work, such as the Second floor group study area for their own safety

The noisiest phases of work will be carried out each morning up until 10:00am.

Contact Robin Hunter if you have any queries about the works taking place.

For further information about the refurbishment, please visit

Inspired by our Reading Olympians?

olympicsMasters student Stewart Innes and graduates Sam Townsend and Alex Gregory will chase Olympic gold in rowing and all compete on the opening weekend of the games.

European silver medallist Stewart Innes has been selected for the men’s pair alongside Alan Sinclair. They face a stern test in Rio as they take on New Zealand pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, who have claimed gold in every major event they have raced in since 2009.

Rural Environmental Sciences graduate Sam Townsend will compete in the men’s quadruple sculls having been a finalist in the men’s double scull at the London 2012 games. Geography graduate Alex Gregory will row in the men’s coxless four having won gold in the event in 2012.

Alex was one of two Reading students to win a gold medal in London, alongside graduate Anna Watkins, where Reading was represented by no less than 11 students in rowing and hockey.

If you are inspired by Stewart, Sam and Alex be sure to check out the Sports Fayre, from 11-4 on Thursday 22nd September.

You can also check out a list of the sports teams and clubs we have at the university on the RUSU website. There is everything from snow sports to polo, aikido to ultimate Frisbee – whether you still dream of making it to the Olympic games or are just looking to have some fun.

There will be taster sessions running throughout Welcome Week, so it’s the perfect time to take up a new hobby.

Library Refurbishment: works up to 14 August

Early works for the Library refurbishment will continue to take place over the next few weeks.

The majority of activity will focus on preparing the southern (glassed in) staircase for demolition and continuing the erection of external hoardings.librefurb

Notable works leading up to Sunday 14 August are:

Week 1 (from 1 August): Work began around Cafe Libro to ensure that the café can continue to operate during the works. A new store was created and hoardings were installed to separate the café from the works, ensuring that you can still get your coffee! The vending machines have also been relocated. Work around the southern (glassed in) staircase continued across most floors in preparation for its demolition– this involved hoardings being set up around the stair core and a small amount of furniture being moved. The 20 bike hoops within the Library undercroft have been relocated to the URS undercroft within the gravel area next to existing bike hoops.

Week 2 (from 8 August): Preparations for the demolition of the southern staircase will continue across all floors– hoardings will be erected and a small amount of furniture will be moved out. Elsewhere, former staff offices on the Ground floor will be stripped out, and temporary power and water supplies will be added to the contractor’s temporary accommodation.

External hoarding will continue to be put up around the Library. This will surround the bike racks in the undercroft- so they have been temporarily relocated next to the bike hoops by the URS Building for the time being. The main bike racks to the front of the building will stay in operation until next year.

A floor-by-floor view is available for additional information.

Any noisy work will be carried out each morning up until 10:00am.

Contact Robin Hunter if you have any queries about the works taking place.

For further information about the refurbishment, please visit


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