Praise for University Square Stratford campus one year from completion
23 August 2012
Stratford's new campus is rapidly taking shape in, East London, and is winning support from the local community. The state–of–the–art building and the opportunities it will help create are already attracting compliments from residents and politicians one year before it is due to open.
An educational legacy
The £33 million project is a pioneering joint venture between Birkbeck, University of London and the University of East London, and it promises to create an educational legacy in an area already benefiting from the regeneration linked to London 2012.
Facilities at University Square Stratford will include a dynamic Learning Centre, performing arts rehearsal and theatre space, student support centre, and 300–seat lecture theatre. Undergraduate subjects offered by Birkbeck when the new campus opens next autumn will include Business, IT, Life Sciences, Management and Social Science.
The building is in the heart of Stratford's cultural quarter – a short walk from Stratford's transport hub, the Westfield Shopping Centre and the Olympic stadium.
Kirstein Gourlay – a former Birkbeck student from East London – is excited about the new campus under construction. She said: "Attending Birkbeck at Stratford was a very positive experience for me. I managed to earn a Certificate of Higher Education in Social Policy and the Care Sector through dedication, hard work and a lot of personal support. University Square Stratford is the next evolutionary step in Birkbeck's excellent part-time provision for working East Londoners. A purpose-built, dedicated campus set in the heart of regenerated Stratford will provide a wonderful opportunity for all locals to experience world class educational opportunities that fit into their busy schedules."
Stratford resident Umweni Lucky, 39, echoed such support. He spoke positively about the plans to increase university education at University Square Stratford. He said: "It is good to expand education, and I really appreciate this new campus being built. I try to encourage friends to attend university because knowledge is power."
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, has also backed the new campus. He said: "The new education hub by Birkbeck and University of East London is an exciting addition to the world class facilities already available in Newham. The new campus will not only create a wealth of benefits for the local area, the borough and East London but will also inspire our residents to upskill, and enhance their employment opportunities helping to provide a lasting legacy for the community."