London Metropolitan University has revealed its brand-new state-of-the-art teaching facilities for its School of Human Sciences, featuring immersive virtual reality technology that is set to transform student learning. The £5.8m grant was awarded by the Office for Students in December 2022 to support the creation of nurses courses.

The facilities were officially unveiled by London Met’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Lynn Dobbs and keynote speaker, Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu at a launch event last week. 

The new facilities demonstrate the University’s commitment to investing in the latest technology, designed to enhance students’ learning and overall experience and marks a significant milestone in the University’s dedication to providing advanced and innovative healthcare education.

In what is one of the largest estates projects in London Met’s recent history. It forms part of a multimillion-pound strategy to create vibrant campuses with cutting-edge facilities for students right in the heart of London.

At the launch event, demonstrations were given of the school’s standout feature – a virtual reality space allowing students to fully immerse themselves in 360° films used to simulate real-world scenarios, such as a car crash.

The immersive space also includes a ward, ICU, simulation and homecare suite, and contemporary study spaces adorned with plants. Volunteers at the event had the chance to try the equipment first-hand in demonstrations given by Nursing, Physiotherapy and Dietetics students. 

Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, Dean of London Met’s School of Human Sciences, delivered a keynote speech at the event discussing her inspirations, challenges and excitement at seeing the new facilities. She said: “It’s a huge honour to open the splendid new health education facilities in the School of Health Sciences at London Met. The classroom is where we live and learn, and it’s where I was inspired to become a nurse. I hope these students have the same experience here.”

80 guests attended the launch in the Science Centre on the university’s Holloway campus, including London Met staff and students, key stakeholders and valued partners from the NHS, to celebrate the project. Taking just a few months to go from conception to completion, the project is a success story which also commemorates 70 years of the Dietetics course at London Met and the 75th anniversary of the NHS.

Melanie Albon, a BSc Adult Nursing student at London Met and one of the first to see and use the facilities, said: “It’s so lovely to be here to celebrate, my experience at London Met has been amazing and the facilities are fantastic. I’ve got nursing friends and I’ve explained to them what the facilities are like, and the warm environment here, and they’re amazed. Nobody that I know who’s studied at a university has had this experience.”

Planning for the project began in 2022, with construction work commencing in May 2023 to transform the space on the second floor of the Science Centre. The project was handed over in September 2023, in time for the University’s first cohort of Adult Nursing students, as well as existing allied health students studying physiotherapy and dietetics.