Re your story on the University of Northampton’s new campus, “Hot-desking appears on horizon as Waterside project nears completion” (News, 22 June). I remember being without a designated office space in my early teaching days and how ashamed I felt when students with severe pastoral or mental health problems broke down in tears during meetings in the corridor. I also recall how inefficient I was as a scholar with nowhere to put heavy dictionaries and textbooks.
“Traditional offices and teaching styles will vanish at Northampton’s new campus”, we learn. According to Nick Hillman of the Higher Education Policy Institute, it’s the UK’s “most exciting higher education project”, a brave new world of what Northampton’s vice-chancellor calls “active blended learning” where “students will make greater use of digital learning resources before coming to class”. So, not at all like having students do the reading before a seminar, as at Poppleton and other traditional universities, then?
Professor of sociology
University of Nottingham