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Oxford Brookes has announced £2m of investment to apply innovative teaching methods with virtual reality and simulation training.

Thousands of students at Oxford Brookes University are set to benefit from a £2 million investment into new technology-enhanced facilities and simulation equipment with a grant awarded from the Office for Students (OfS).

Supporting the University’s drive to apply modern and innovative teaching methods across its curriculum, the funding will develop two key areas of learning with virtual reality and simulation training.

A new immersive digital classroom area will be developed for engineering, computer science and cybersecurity students, giving 3D modelling and simulation capabilities. 3D projections will create an immersive virtual reality environment in the classroom, meaning students can move around a 3D model, manipulate the model or its parts, interact with it and assess it from different perspectives. This practice-based learning will help students develop skills for real-world situations, and allow them to work with industrial partners on a range of projects using the latest digital technologies.

In addition, a new Computer Integrated Manufacturing system will be installed, helping students to learn more about using computers and robots to automate the manufacturing and production process – for instance in automotive components and critical infrastructure industry sectors.  The system will help students to build the skills needed in the smart manufacturing factories of the future.

Nursing, midwifery and allied health programmes will also benefit from a new, dedicated high fidelity clinical experience room and two immersive simulation training rooms, one at each campus in Oxford and Swindon. Both facilities will offer life-like simulated clinical scenarios, enabling students to rehearse specific skills and develop clinical competence in a realistic learning environment, without compromising the safety of a real patient.

These new learning environments will also enable students to work in uni- and multi-professional teams, developing their own personal skills and situation management abilities across a range of clinical scenarios, which they may not encounter in the real world during the period of their education. This experience will help students to prepare for working directly in the field at an enhanced level of competence and confidence.

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, said:

“Thousands of future students will benefit from this significant investment, which brings the latest technology and equipment to Oxford Brookes, and supports our teaching ambitions.

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