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Thu, 1 Jan 2015

Students get new hub to gather and learn

JCU students will have a new student hub and School of Education building when they return to - or begin their studies - on the Townsville campus.

Feb 21, 2013: - James Cook University students will have a new student hub and School of Education building when they return to - or begin their studies - on the Townsville campus next week.

Providing a one-stop shop for student enrolments and enquiries on the ground floor along with a café and new lecture theatre, the multi-million dollar building is having the final touches and landscaping completed this week.

The new building will become the hub where Townsville students can access a range of support services provided by the University to support them during their studies and has already proved popular this week - Orientation Week - for those about to begin their studies.

It will also provide the new home for JCU’s School of Education providing trainee teachers with access to the latest technologies and teaching techniques.

Key components of the new building include a state of the art teaching laboratory to address the chronic shortage of science teachers in northern schools.

The building will also include a 36-seat flexible flat floor seminar/conference room, and peer to peer learning centre.

The new facilities for the School of Education focus on collaborative learning and will allow staff and students to explore the connection between technology and the new teaching and learning techniques.

The Pro Vice Chancellor of JCU’s Faculty of Arts, Education and Social Sciences, Professor Nola Alloway, said that the classrooms of the future were likely to be very different from what we have been used to for many, many years.

“Schools,” she said, “face enormous challenges in attracting great teachers who are up to date with today’s techno-savvy students.

“With increasing use of communications technology and the speed and interconnectivity that will be available, we have an obligation to prepare the next generations of teachers for these changes now.”

Professor Alloway said that facilities such as the building’s 150 seat collaborative lecture theatre would ensure that JCU teachers would be able to actively work with their students and students would be able to work together to promote understanding.

“The 72 seat active learning room sets new standards in university teaching and learning in Australia and its innovative ‘student hubs’ make teaching and learning a true partnership between teachers and students.”

Professor Alloway said that the building would also be home to JCU’s national award winning RATEP program, which focuses on delivering teacher education programs into communities for Indigenous students.

The University received funding from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Capital Development Fund for the integrated Student Enquiry Centre and the Department’s Teaching and Learning Capital Fund for the specialist teaching facilities for the School of Education.

These have been combined with the funding from the University itself for the new building, which was designed by Wilson Architects in conjunction with Architects North.

Contact: Professor Alloway 07 4781 6818

JCU Media: Jim O’Brien 07 4781 4822 or 0418 892449

Issued: February 21, 2013