By Tomos Evans
The University and Students’ Union are working with Study Group to create the Cardiff International Study Centre on the fourth floor of the SU.
It has recently been announced that the Postgraduate Study Zone has been “closed permanently” as part of a joint initiative between Cardiff University and Study Group to create an International Study Centre on the fourth floor of the Students’ Union.
The designated study area for postgraduate students was situated on the third floor of the Students’ Union building.
A spokesperson for Cardiff University said: “The Students’ Union is supporting the University partnership with Study Group and the establishment of the Cardiff University International Study Centre. This will open during September 2020 and will be situated on the fourth floor of the Students’ Union. The Students’ Union is replacing the lost fourth floor space by building new rooms in the current third floor space which has necessitated the closure of the Postgraduate Study Zone.”
Janet Williams, a postgraduate student who studies LLM Law (Canon), told Gair Rhydd that she was “horrified” when she first heard the news of the Postgraduate Study Zone’s closure.
Whilst she fully supports the creation of Cardiff University’s new International Student Centre, Janet said of the Postgraduate Study Zone, “that’s one place I use a lot, or used a lot, due to the fact that I do quite a few things in the Students’ Union for students and that is my one place I can go, retreat to and do my work.”
The Postgraduate Study Zone comprised of both quiet working spaces as well as rooms suitable for social study and group discussions.
The University has offered a list of alternative study spaces that are available to students. A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “Postgraduate students may use any of the libraries on campus”.
The University recommends the following study spaces in particular for use by postgraduate students: the Guest Study Centre in the Guest Building (open 9-5 Monday-Friday); Science Library (open 8:45-9:30 Monday-Friday; 10-5:30 Saturday-Sunday); Arts and Social Studies Library (ASSL) (open 24 hours); IT Suite and Breakout space, Doctoral Academy; Y Plas, Students’ Union; Julian Hodge Study Zone (open 9-9 Monday-Friday; 10-5 Saturday-Sunday).
However, speaking on the ASSL in particular, Janet said, “I prefer not to study there if I don’t have to. I don’t find it congenial to my work. If it’s really really busy, it’s so distracting and when you’re doing postgraduate work, obviously, you’re going into things a lot more, so you need that little bit of extra space.”
The spokesperson for Cardiff University added: “The University Library Service is working closely with the Students’ Union to investigate improvements or changes that might be required for these spaces to meet the research and study needs of Postgraduate Students.”
Nick Fox, VP Postgraduate at Cardiff University Students’ Union, told Gair Rhydd that “the floor plan [for the third floor] is ever so slightly bigger. It gives us an opportunity for investment in things like studios, dance studios”.
He continued, “it’s relatively exciting in terms of the opportunities that we get that we can’t do on the fourth floor that we can here”.
Nick added, “We’re now in a position where working with the University to find other suitable locations is now a priority for me personally as a Postgrad Officer”.
Gair Rhydd understands that more study spaces will be provided as part of the University’s new Centre for Student Life, which is currently under construction.