New campus helps Swansea University better serve students and the community
Welcoming its first intake of students in September 2015, the new Swansea University Bay Campus in Wales offers world-class facilities for industrial research and a state-of-the-art learning environment for students.
" The partnership between the university, industry, the Welsh government and the European Investment Bank has been critical in securing the success of the Bay Science and Innovation Campus. This approach to delivering European funding has also made a significant contribution to the journey of transforming the region. "
Swansea University’s new Bay Campus is located on a 65-acre former BP transit site, just outside the city. The state-of-the-art campus provides academic, student accommodation and research space, the latter being via a series of agreements with both international and national companies. It also has the unique distinction of being one of the few global universities with direct access to a beach and its own seafront promenade. Although construction will continue through 2020, the majority of work has been completed, enabling the official opening of the campus in September 2015.
Fostering an open innovation culture
Founded in 1920, Swansea University aims to meet the needs of local industry by focusing on strategic areas of research that will have a direct economic benefit for the region. Throughout its history, it has developed a reputation for cooperating with local industry to provide world-class research and teaching. However, as a direct result of its success, the university had outgrown its Singleton Park campus and found itself struggling to meet the needs of its students, staff and the local community.
The new Bay Campus provides the university with the space it needs to better meet the evolving needs of its stakeholders. For example, the new Innovation Hub, along with the Engineering Manufacturing Centre, are promoting an open innovation culture. Here, local companies and industry are not only immersed physically in the buildings themselves, but they also play an active role in the university’s experience-based curriculum. As a result, students can benefit from a unique opportunity to gain ‘real-world’ experience while the companies benefit from having access to state-of-the-art research facilities and top academic talent.
In addition to these two facilities, the new Bay Campus also features a 700-seat auditorium, several lecture halls, a students’ union building, the university library and a modern residence building capable of housing over 900 students.
Since the new campus opened, Swansea University earned the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award in 2016. As the Bay Campus sits within a wider city/region economic regeneration strategy, it will also make a major contribution to the educational and economic life of Wales. It is estimated that over a 10-year period the project will have an economic impact of EUR 3.4 billion through construction, research and further investments. Already, nearly 200 contracts have been awarded to Welsh companies and over EUR 50 million allocated in research grants.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment in the “Swansea University Bay Campus” amounts to EUR 83 300 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 49 400 000 through the “West Wales and The Valleys” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.