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Marking World Mental Health Day with Centre for Student Life milestone

9 October 2020

Centre for Student Life from the Main Building

A new video to mark the virtual topping out of Cardiff University’s Centre for Student Life shows how far the construction of this building, set to transform Cardiff’s civic centre, has come.

The new Centre for Student Life is more than an impressive addition to the capital city. It will revolutionise the student experience when it opens in 2021, providing an integrated home for the University’s support and wellbeing services. Student welfare will be the heart of the campus.

With an ongoing global pandemic affecting many people’s mental health, and a recent NUS survey* finding that only 42% of respondents were currently feeling good about themselves, Cardiff University is committed to tackling this reported low self-esteem among students. The Centre for Student Life will provide a new environment for that work to continue.

Luke Morgan, a student at Cardiff University and a Wellbeing Champion, said: “Mental health issues can affect any student, at any time, in any number of ways. Due to the diversity in mental health issues, services on offer need to be just as diverse. As Wellbeing Champions, we are here to provide empathy and support as many of us have been through similar issues."

The new Centre for Student Life will allow us to reach more students than ever before and in new, innovative ways. It demonstrates the passion that all those involved show towards mental health and allows wellbeing to become a keystone part of life at Cardiff University.

Luke Morgan

Alongside the construction, investment in new software has already taken place to enhance support services for students. A new service called Student Connect was launched over the summer. This enables students to get answers to frequently asked questions online, 24/7, and establishes our Student Connect team who will be the front line of the Centre for Student Life when it opens. Further enhancements to this service will make it even easier for students to ask questions about support services and to book appointments with those teams that will help them make the most of university life.

Professor Damian Walford Davies, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, oversees the delivery of the Centre for Student Life. He said: “The Centre for Student Life encapsulates our commitment to putting the welfare of our students above all else. The project is much more than the physical building we can see transforming Park Place. The people and systems that will work within the building will provide connected, responsive and smart support for the student journey – all within a modern, safe, social and accessible environment.”

A new lecture theatre in the building, named after Welsh businessman and philanthropist Sir Stanley Thomas OBE, will become Cardiff University’s largest, featuring 550 seats and providing a modern, purpose-built teaching space. The building will also add more than 600 flexible study spaces over five floors.

Sir Stanley Thomas said: “I last visited the Centre for Student Life site in January and I’m delighted to see how much the works have progressed since then, despite the coronavirus outbreak. With this impressive building, Cardiff University is making a commitment to all students, putting their wellbeing at the heart of their university experience.”

Justin Price, Construction Director at BAM, said: “BAM is committed to improving and maintaining the wellbeing of our people, including our supply chain, so it is particularly satisfying for us to support Cardiff University in creating this revolutionary building that places student welfare right at the heart of the campus.”

The Centre for Student Life is being constructed by BAM in partnership with Cardiff University Students’ Union. Construction is due to be completed next summer.

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