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£1.9m Sensory Sciences Centre opens at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge





Anglia Ruskin University’s new Sensory Sciences Centre in Cambridge has officially opened, complete with £1.9million of equipment and teaching and research space.

The centre at ARU’s Compass House, on East Road, will support students on optometry, ophthalmic dispensing and audiology courses.

Students in the new ophthalmic dispensing area at Anglia Ruskin University's new Sensory Sciences Centre. Picture: ARU
Students in the new ophthalmic dispensing area at Anglia Ruskin University's new Sensory Sciences Centre. Picture: ARU

The opening last week coincided with the 30th anniversary of Vision and Hearing Sciences at ARU’s Cambridge campus.

LED ophthalmoscopes, video slit lamps and a corneal topographer are among the cutting-edge equipment on site, which will allow ARU students to hone clinical skills before they see patients in the University Eye Clinic.

ARU is one of only a few UK universities to have its own eye clinic. Based in Bradmore Street, off East Road, it aids optometry students in gaining clinical experience while delivering free optical care to the local community, and has provided more than 220,000 free eye appointments to people in Cambridge since opening in 2000.

University Eye Clinic service user Penny Barker opening the new Sensory Sciences Centre, with Anglia Ruskin University Vice Chancellor Professor Roderick Watkins. Picture: ARU
University Eye Clinic service user Penny Barker opening the new Sensory Sciences Centre, with Anglia Ruskin University Vice Chancellor Professor Roderick Watkins. Picture: ARU

Penny Barker, one of the service users, opened the new centre as guest of honour.

ARU is introducing a masters degree in optometry and a blended-learning pphthalmic dispensing undergraduate degree in 2024, following its introduction of the audiology degree apprenticeship course.

The Sensory Sciences Centre will also help the Vision and Hearing Sciences Research Group expand its pioneering research.

One of the new optometry research labs at Anglia Ruskin University's new Sensory Sciences Centre. Picture: ARU
One of the new optometry research labs at Anglia Ruskin University's new Sensory Sciences Centre. Picture: ARU
Students using the new optometry equipment at Anglia Ruskin University's new Sensory Sciences Centre. Picture: ARU
Students using the new optometry equipment at Anglia Ruskin University's new Sensory Sciences Centre. Picture: ARU
Anglia Ruskin University's new Sensory Sciences Centre. Picture: ARU
Anglia Ruskin University's new Sensory Sciences Centre. Picture: ARU

Dr Helen Keyes, Head of School at ARU, said: “This fabulous new facility allows our students to train using the very latest technology, equipping them with the skills and practical knowledge needed for their future careers.

“Vision and hearing courses have now been taught at ARU in Cambridge for 30 years, and new equipment within the Sensory Sciences Centre ensures that ARU remains at the cutting edge. This is a wonderful investment for our students, and for the members of the public they will go on to serve.”



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