UCS freshers enjoy first week fair

UNIVERSITY students in Ipswich have been savouring their first taste of the Waterfront building at a freshers' fair.

Simon Tomlinson

UNIVERSITY students in Ipswich have been savouring their first taste of the Waterfront building at a freshers' fair.

Hundreds of teenagers swarmed around society stands and trade stalls inside the University Campus Suffolk (UCS) landmark, grabbing whatever freebies they could get their hands on.

Painters and decorators were still putting on the final touches to the upper floors and there was a temporary loss of power, but there was a real buzz as university life in the town embarks on an exciting new era.

Howard Smith, president of UCS Students' Union, said: “This place is a major step forward. It is what Ipswich has been crying out for for years. It is going to be a culture shock for a lot of people but a positive one.

“This week has been a roller-coaster but a really good one to be on. Last year we had about eight people on the freshers' pub crawl, but we had about 80 this year.”

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The building, the official ownership of which was handed to UCS by developers Willmott Dixon last week, will hold its first lectures on Monday.

Costing an estimated £22million, the building is divided over six floors and will include teaching rooms, a café, a learning resource centre with more than 60 new computers, public meeting rooms and social areas.

When fully open, there will be room for an estimated 220 office staff and around 1,300 students will be taught in the building every day.

Neil Jackson, Director of Estates and Facilities at UCS, said, “This is a momentous occasion for UCS and is the culmination of many years of planning and hard work.

“I am delighted by the finished building, it truly is a landmark for Ipswich and is a wonderful environment for students to learn and socialise.”

FRESHERS at UCS today gave their reaction to the new building as they begin university life in Ipswich.

Amanda Caswell, 19, of Southwold, who is studying psychology and criminology, said: “It is really new and the technology is great.

“Not many people really know about the university in Ipswich. This building will bring a lot of opportunity, but we need more people to spread the word and give it more credibility.”

Sophie Barham, 19, of Southwold, who will be learning business management, added: “In a few years it will be a great university.”

Jacob Southgate-Cryer and Scott Frazer, who are about to start a course in graphic design, also praised the multi-million pound building.

Jacob, 18, of Trimley St Martin, said: “I didn't know what to expect, but it fits in well with the area. It is really good to be here at the beginning because I feel more involved.”

Scott, 18, of Trimley St Mary, said: “It is a lot bigger inside than it looks on the outside. There is a lot of open space.”

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