Staff and students working and studying at Bristol Business School (BBS) and Bristol Law School (BLS) at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) have moved in to a new state-of-the-art £55 million building.
The building is the jewel in the crown of a £300m capital investment programme across all campuses and will enable UWE Bristol to offer a new way forward in business and law education to benefit students and businesses in the region.
Designed to foster formal and informal interaction between businesses, the new facility promises to bring many benefits to the regional economy.
Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of BBS and BLS says, “This will be a live environment where staff and students and business work together – with collaboration at its core.
“We consult with our advisory board of key business figures who challenge us to make our provision meet the needs of employers and the latest developments in the business world.”
Professor Steve West, President and Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said, “It is wonderful to see this flagship building fully occupied. But it's not really about the building, it is about what will happen inside it.
“At UWE Bristol we teach business differently. A UWE education goes beyond getting industry accreditation, important though this is.
“We are harnessing relationships with thousands of businesses across the region, nationally and internationally, helping us to shape our courses so that our students develop the skills that are needed to help the economy thrive.”
Donna Whitehead continues, “Already UWE Bristol students are demonstrating entrepreneurial spirit through our Team Entrepreneurship course where a degree is earned by students collaborating in teams to create and run a business over a three year period under the guidance of mentors.
“We foster an enterprise mindset in all our students. Last year, Bristol Law School students doing pro bono work gained £1 million in welfare benefits for people wrongly declared fit for work.
“They also advise start-ups and tech businesses though our Business Clinic, which will diversify into digital marketing, finance and tax advice over the next year. This service has been set up in collaboration with Bristol law firm Gregg Latchams Ltd and international legal practice Osborne Clarke LLP and is based at the Future Space centre on Frenchay Campus.
“Activities like these keep us in touch with what is happening in the region and provide students with relevant work and placement opportunities as they interact with business, owners and developers.”
Features of the new building include two showcase law courts, a city trading room, a 300 seat lecture theatre, two Harvard lecture theatres, an incubator for Team Entrepreneurship students, technology enhanced and flexible learning spaces, IT suites, meeting facilities and parking for business, an external business engagement space, a central social space and a cafe.
Key professional organisations will have a base in the new building enabling barristers, accountants, small business owners and start-ups to mix with staff and students in the learning and social areas.
Throughout the building there are flexible workspaces that staff, students and visitors can use.
Bristol Business School recently achieved the prestigious European programme accreditation (EPAS), placing it in an elite and internationally recognised group of modern business schools.