Most of the week I was over in East Anglia, and as a result I spent quite a bit of time travelling. It was also a shorter week as I was on leave at the beginning of the week.
My main event was delivering an Intelligent Campus workshop at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
We had an excellent interactive discussion about what is the smart campus, how do we make it intelligent. We looked at possible opportunities in making your campus smart, but also many of the challenges and barriers that will stop this from happening.
I also brought in some external perspectives from EDINA in Edinburgh and some of our own Jisc staff.
One thing that I was reminded of, was how that campuses don’t just appear, they evolve and grow over time. A typical university campus will have a range of buildings and spaces and with each building there are challenges in making them smart.
Another perspective was the importance of having a strategic vision for your campus. This can be challenging when a typical university campus can be for three years, whereas the typical life of a university building is usually in excess of twenty years.
I enjoyed the workshop and having an explore of the UEA campus. It has a real mix of buildings, old and new. There was lots of green spaces and trees as well. It was established in 1963, but their first building was Earlham Hall which was built in 1642. This building now where the Law School lives.
As I was in Norwich, I also took the time to visit the Norwich University of the Arts. They also have a mix of old and new buildings.
I grew up in East Anglia, and I am not 100% sure if I ever visited Norwich. I thought I had, but none of it seemed familiar. I had visited other places in Norfolk before, Kings Lynn, Dersingham, Hunstanton, and Thetford. However I have no recollection of visiting Norwich.
As I was over in East Anglia I also visited the University of Suffolk campus in Ipswich. This was founded originally in 2007 as a unique collaboration between the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex. It gained independence in 2016.
There are a range of buildings, the Waterfront Building which opened in 2008, followed by the James Hehir Building three years later.
There is a substantial amount of student accommodation on the waterfront as well.The most recent addition to the growing campus is The Hold, which houses the majority of the Suffolk Record Office’s collection and provides various facilities to the university including a lecture hall.
It’s quite a hike to East Anglia, so a good part of the week was travelling much as anything, but it was worth it for the workshop and visiting different campus sites.