* Bristol ChemLabS - A 14M Boost for Teaching and Learning in Bristol Chemistry - 27/01/05

The teaching of laboratory Chemistry at Bristol University is set to be transformed following announcement that the bid for 4.5 million for Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) funding to become a Centre of Excellence for Teaching and Learning (CETL) has been successful. This will trigger additional University capital investment of 3.5 to 4.5M in the CETL facilities and a further 5.5M to enable the external refurbishment of the block housing the CETL laboratories.

The CETL project will completely transform teaching and learning of practical chemistry at Bristol - by establishing professional-standard laboratories and practices with state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities for the e-learning of modern laboratory chemistry. The new CETL - to be called Bristol ChemLabS (Bristol Chemical Laboratory Sciences) - sets out to transform the student experience of learning practical chemistry and to create a major national resource for the teaching and learning of the experimental sciences.

CETL Logo

Full details of the Bristol ChemLabS CETL objectives can be found here.

HEFCE have also funded a second CETL (Applied and Integrated Medical Sciences - AIMS) at Bristol to focus on the teaching and learning of Medical Sciences.

Dr Kim HowellsDr Kim Howells, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education (right), who visited the School of Chemistry on Thursday 27 January, said:

"I want to congratulate Bristol University on its successful bid for this funding. It will further advance the teaching and learning opportunities for students in the Schools of Chemistry and Medical Sciences.

"I am delighted to be visiting the School of Chemistry on the day the funding is announced. It is a great way to end my two day tour of the South West where there is so much good work being done to provide the best education for our young people. The School of Chemistry shows us how our Universities can be at the forefront of science teaching, rivaling the best in the world and I wish them every success in the future."

Kim Howells during his visit to ChemistryKim Howells during his visit to Chemistry
Dr Kim Howells, Minister for Lifelong Learning, watching students Emma Grange, left, and Alex Griffin conduct an experiment during his visit to the School of Chemistry. Also pictured are from left, Professor Guy Orpen, head of department, Dr Liz Beaty, HEFCE's Director of Learning and Teaching, and local MP Valerie Davey.
Other photos from the visit can be seen here.

Artist's impression of the new Chemistry Teaching LaboratoriesAn artist's impression of the new Chemistry teaching laboratories can be seen by clicking on the image on the right.

The funding will also be used to host Fellowships for seconded schoolteachers, establish University Teaching Fellowships and develop outreach programmes to engage pre-university students and the general public. New ways of teaching and learning practical science will be disseminated nationwide.

Professor Guy OrpenProfessor Guy Orpen, Head of Department, School of Chemistry, said: "This is great news for the Bristol School of Chemistry. Thanks to HEFCE and the University, we will have world-class facilities for students to learn practical chemistry - matching the outstanding research labs we now have in place. Students will get to learn chemistry the best way - by doing it and by doing it as it is done in industrial or research labs: the professional way.

"What's more we will be in a position to use these 21st-century labs for teaching and reaching out to younger students from schools in the region, and to older students - school teachers and technicians, industrial chemists and members of the public. These are exciting times for chemistry at Bristol."

Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: "State-of-the-art teaching is as important to us as world-class research. This money will help us to give students the excellent teaching they deserve and to keep producing some of the UK's most outstanding graduates."

More information about Bristol ChemLabS can be found in:

Press news items on Bristol ChemLabS CETL: