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New student halls to ease pressure on city housing

An artist's impression of proposed East Slope redevelopment Credit: University of Sussex

Plans to create more student accommodation at the University of Sussex have been approved by Brighton & Hove City Council.

It means more than two thousand extra bedrooms will be created. They'll replace the existing East Slope housing dating back to the 1970s. It's the first stage of a £500m programme of investment to modernise and improve the campus.

This is an important project for the University so we’re very pleased with this outcome. This means that we will now be able to house more students in University-managed accommodation, which will take away some of the pressure of housing in the city.

We know that many of our former and current students have a great affection for East Slope, and our aim is to provide modern, affordable accommodation that recreates the fantastic social environment.

In considering the redevelopment options, we invited students to tell us what sort of facilities they would like to have in their accommodation and these results were fed into the design and planning process.”

– John Duffy, Registrar, University of Sussex

Universities to be hit by pay dispute

Universities will be affected by industrial action Credit: ITV

Plans for a two-day national strike affecting universities have been confirmed. UCU members in higher education will walk out on the 25th and 26th of May as part of a dispute about pay. They've rejected an offer of 1.1%. University employers describe the decision to take action as "disappointing".

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University library to get major overhaul

Reading's library refurbishment plans get green light Credit: University of Reading

The library at Reading University is to get a £40 million redevelopment.

The exterior of the building will be re-clad and replacement windows installed. More space will be created for student study, with new furniture and better wheelchair access.

There will also be better security and increased energy efficiency.

How the new cafe may look Credit: University of Reading

New student block officially opened in Southampton

The skyline of one of our biggest cities is changing as hundreds of new homes are created for an important - and growing sector of the population.

As our univiersties take on more students they need somewhere to live.

In Southampton the city's oldest university has invested 80 million in two hi-rise landmark buildings to provide self catering accommodation.

One is on one of the main routes in - and another is right in the city centre.

Together, they will provide accommodation for more than two thousand extra students and today the first of the buildings was offically opened.

But what impact will it have on the wider city? Our Social Affairs correspondent, Christine Alsford, has been finding out more.

Southampton university remains 'Centre of Excellence'

The University of Southampton has been awarded £2.6 million to remain as a centre of excellence.

The Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre (SHTAC) will remain at the forefront of how clinical guidance and policy is made.

The money will be given out over a 5 year period and has been given to the university by the Department of Health National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The new contract will run from 2016 to 2021 and is the forth, 5-year contract that the institution has secured, raising over £14 million in research funding for the University of Southampton.

Professor Andrew Clegg said:

The success in securing a fourth five-year contract is a reflection of the quality and rigour of our research. It is underpinned by the skills and endeavour of the group and the community of clinicians, service providers, academics and patient representatives that advise and support us."

– Professor Andrew Clegg, SHTAC

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University expansion plans rejected

Plans for an expansion of Sussex University have been turned down Credit: University of Sussex

A £500 million pound plan to extend Sussex University has been turned down. The university wants to build new facilities for almost 5000 more students.

Plans for an expansion of Sussex University have been turned down Credit: University of Sussex

But the city council says the current design would harm the character of the campus at Falmer. The university may appeal.

Kent student heading to the US for a bright future

Lily Prendergast competed with 1200 other students to win a place at Smith College, Massachusetts Credit: Shellina Prendergast

A 17 year old student from Headcorn has won a coveted place to study at an American university after competing with 1200 other UK youngsters.

Lily Prendergast is one of 150 who'll be attending Smith College, Massachusetts after participating on the Sutton Trust's US Programme, run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission. Thanks to the trust, she'll also get a financial aid package to see her through college.

The aim of the programme is to encourage academically talented, low and middle income British students to consider studying at American universities. Lily will go to the States when she finishes her International Baccalaureate at Tonbridge Grammar School.

  1. Christine Alsford

Record numbers apply for university places

A record number of candidates are applying to go to to university this year, seemingly undeterred by fees of up to nine thousand pounds. Overall, figures are up by four per cent - but in the ITV Meridian region there are winners and losers.

Some universities - particularly those offering skills and vocational courses - are proving highly popular. At Surrey applications are up by a staggering 35 percent, Portsmouth is up by 12 percent - and Southampton Solent saw an increase of eight percent.

But the more traditional universities have been hit - Oxford is only up by 1 percent - and Reading says applications are down compared to the same point last year.

ITV Meridian's Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford has been looking at the bigger picture - and finding out if enough is being done to offer teenagers alternatives to taking a degree.

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