Aston University invest £10million in new Students’ Union building
Aston University have demonstrated their commitment to giving students value for money by allocating around £10million for a new Students’ Union building development, set to open in spring 2019.
The Aston University campus has undergone a significant transformation in the last five years, with new student accommodation, demolition of old buildings, refurbishment of the library and sports centre, and beautiful landscaping that opens out into the City Centre. Built in the 1960s, the Student’s Union is one of the few remaining buildings on campus not to have been refurbished or relocated.
The University accepted the need for a new SU building several years ago, and planning had begun as far back as 2014, but the project was put on hold due to concerns over the Students’ Union’s strategic direction. However, a new SU Chief Executive has reinvigorated the organisation, and the development has finally been given the go-ahead by the new Vice Chancellor, Alec Cameron.
The new building will be located near the centre of campus, adjacent to the Chancellor’s Lake and the student accommodation. Work will begin by summer 2018, and opening is scheduled for spring 2019.
The current SU President, Ahmed Hassan, said “Although achieving the building investment has taken four years, the process gave us time to reflect on who we are as an organisation and where we fit in with our members. Re-joining the NUS has helped us greatly with this, as it gave us the opportunity to network and learn from other Students' Unions. The building will give our students a place of their own that is fit for a modern university. I believe this has been a great turnaround for the SU and its future will only benefit our students in achieving their ambitions.”
And there's more...
In addition to confirming the investment in the new building, Aston University have also recently announced a £200k increase to the Students’ Union’s annual block grant. This 30% enhancement will allow the SU to invest in additional staff and resources, which will make a huge difference in their ability to impact on the lives of students. The increased funding is further evidence of the University’s understanding that a strong Students’ Union has a vital part to play in delivering a great student experience.
Reema Quessou was elected as the 2017/18 President in March, and she will be taking over from Ahmed in July. Giving her thoughts on the block grant, Reema said “I am very pleased that we have received such a generous increase. We will ensure this is utilised wisely by investing in the academic, social and welfare areas of our institution. I believe the future success of the Students’ Union lies within student voices being heard so that positive changes can be made. This will give us the opportunity to create new services and experiences, allowing an equal opportunity platform for every student’s voice to be heard and valued.
The increased block grant and the approval of the new building are great news for the students of Aston, and I look forward to being their representative.”
You can keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the new building project at https://www.astonsu.com/your_su/new_su/