University House: the place at the top of campus that hosts an array of meetings, a surprisingly good latte spot and… a Learning Grid. Not one, but two of them! Being a hive of activity during the day, this is a great spot to multi-task while on campus, seeing people at the same time as slotting in time to get some work done. Oh yes, you read right- you’re allowed to talk in this library space! …By Lillie Almond
Where is it? At the top of campus, en route to Milburn House. If you are walking up from the direction of the main campus area (the Library etc), University House is situated at the end of the footpath that joins University Road. Walk into University House (don’t forget your card!) and you will see Learning Grid 1 on the left-hand side, and Learning Grid 2 entrance is in the dining area of the cafe.
When is it open? Both Grids are open 07:00 – 22:00 every day, and staff is in the space 12:00-17:00 to help you with any queries.
Other important tidbits? Your student card is essential to enter both spaces, so make sure you have it with you. If you have issued a temporary Library pass, it will not be accepted in Learning Grid 1 but will work in Learning Grid 2.
Since all Learning Grids are collaborative spaces, it’s fine to chat to other students and work in a group. This doesn’t mean that you are allowed to be disrespectfully loud, or to watch television programs or use gaming content on the computers though: the facilities are provided for study, not streaming.
In the Learning Grid 1, with study spaces on the ground and first floor, you will find iMacs, Smartboards, Panaboard and plasma screens. There is also a collection of core books on the first floor, but these are reference only and cannot be checked out.
Learning Grid 2 is a great choice for those who prefer a cosier atmosphere, and it comes equipped with two bookable rooms.
Basically, the place has everything you need, so you might end up wanting to live there. The problem with this is the fact that you’re not allowed to. The rules specify, NO sleeping is allowed in the Learning Grid, nor any hot food or take out! So maybe find another location for those non-work related activities…
The Bookable Rooms
Both of these rooms are located in Learning Grid 2, and 2 can accommodate up to 12 students. You’ll also find a presentation screen with audio units, to which you can connect your own device.
A word of warning, these rooms are in pretty high demand. We’re not kidding. The rules specify that they are now to be booked for no longer than two hours at a time. The booking system will allow you only one booking per day and no more than 2 bookings in any week.
It’s good to book the room sooner rather than later, but you can make booking only 14 days in advance. Unfortunately, because of high demand, staff and postgraduate researchers are unable to book presentation rooms.
- Even though we’re right next to a café in this Grid, only hot and cold drinks and cold food are allowed. If you have anything else, eat it outside first. Bin your food-stuff packaging afterwards and leave the space as you would wish to find it – there’s nothing worse than having to clear someone else’s aftermath of grid-time snacking.
- Don’t leave your belongings alone for longer than 1 hour. This is a really generous amount of time considering how busy the Grids get, I would definitely say it’s the one in highest demand; if you leave your stuff unattended for any longer than 1 hour max, your computer will be reset, your Grid books returned to trolleys, and belongings removed.
- I see this as a space for me to work on group projects, ensuring that I am genuinely productive. It’s a great study environment, in which talking is common-place, in the good way!
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