University to name wings of flagship £60m learning hub after inspirational women

Image credit: University of Strathclyde

THE University of Strathclyde is to name the two wings of its new £60 million campus building after inspirational women.

The flagship learning hub was recently completed by Balfour Beatty, with the firm being appointed in early 2018 for the project. The glass fronted facility is based at the heart of the campus – offering views over the university’s gardens and being ‘flooded’ with natural light.

It will bring the university’s student support services under one roof, further to this it hosts a learning village, complete with three new lecture theatres; study and social spaces; a brand-new students’ union with sporting and music events space plus accommodation to support more than 100 clubs and societies; bars, bistros and coffee areas; a new dedicated home for the Strathclyde doctoral school; and, a plaza for outdoor events. The university said that the new development will also meet the needs of the student population as it grows in size and diversity.

A consultation has been launched for staff and students to vote on naming the two wings of the building after inspirational women. Shortlisted are author and poet, professor Jackie Kay; astrophysicist professor, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell; the late biologist and botanist, professor Blodwen Binns; the university’s first female professor and head of department, the late Mary Dunn; and the late Victorian philanthropist, Isabella Elder.

The new learning hub forms part of the university’s wider £1 billion campus investment, which it said will be reflective of the ‘diverse and vibrant’ community it serves.

Principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, professor Sir Jim McDonald, said, “We are in the final stages of realising our new flagship Learning and Teaching building in the heart of our campus which offers us a great opportunity to reflect on our Values and introduce diverse and inclusive naming of the building.

“Historically, there have been no buildings on campus named after women or indeed, that reflect the fantastic diversity of our University community. We are now taking steps to remedy this.

“The new Learning and Teaching building represents our largest single investment in a building to date and it will be an inspiring and welcoming space for our talented student community. It is fitting that it will be named from a shortlist of terrific women who have made an incredible impact on the world around them.”