Construction and architecture students from Oxford Brookes University are learning lessons at Jesus College as they take part in a series of site visits to its Northgate House site, to gain first-hand experience of a major redevelopment programme.  

Twenty-five students from the architecture department and 60 construction management undergraduates will be on-site in the run-up to Christmas, to learn more about design, construction, contractual procedures, quantity surveying and health and safety.  

The visits have been organized by BAM Construction Ltd, the contractors appointed by Jesus College to carry out the work. The project architects MICA are also assisting with the structured programme developed in collaboration with Brookes to complement the course syllabus. The initiative is part of BAM’s Community Engagement Programme.

The £36m Northgate House project, which will take two years to complete, involves replacing the old 1960s structure on Cornmarket and Market Street. In its place will be a modern building incorporating new meeting, teaching, social and residential facilities, as well as a state of the art Digital Hub which will use the latest technology to facilitate academic research and knowledge exchange.

Alec Carr, BAM Project Manager, says, 

“Our focus is to create a positive impact through working closely with local communities, so we are very happy to welcome the students and help them gain first-hand experience of a major construction project. We have tried to create learning opportunities that fit in with their courses, and spending time on a real construction site helps them develop a greater understanding of how theory is put into practice. During the visits, the students will have the opportunity to speak to our team and learn more about the day to day delivery of the project.” 

Alexandra Lumbers, Academic Director at Jesus College says, 

“We are very happy that students from Oxford Brookes University are involved in this project, which is a great opportunity for them to gain first-hand experience in construction management and architecture practices.  Jesus College has developed many access and outreach programmes, and we are keen to open up the College to the wider community, so we are delighted to welcome Brookes students on-site to gain practical experience of their subjects.”

Dr Eiman Elbanhawy of Oxford Brookes (Senior Lecturer and Technology Lead) says,

"Nothing competes with hands-on experience. This year, I took my students to Northgate Project where they had the chance to meet the Main Contractor, BAM alongside MICA, the Architect. Meeting Alec Carr and his team added to their body of knowledge, these visits worked as lectures given by a specialist. Going to construction sites bridges the gap between Industry and Academia so they become Industry ready when they graduate. From my own perspective as being the Technology lead, I always deploy learning by application teaching philosophy which couldn’t have been there without BAM’s offer of granting our students access to the site. it was good to assess the students’ capabilities so I can tailor my construction and project management lectures to their levels."

Media contact:  Jo Kingston 07747 446340 

Photograph shows Oxford Brookes students visiting the Northgate site.