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Keele University has launched a free virtual student advice service, available to the whole HE sector. The Student

Advisory Model, or SAM as it is affectionately known, is a multimedia interface

that brings together information and guidance in a student-friendly environment, signposted by the SAM avatar who provides a novel ‘human’ face to student support based on a 24/7, self- service model. SAM covers the following topics: finance and money management, living away from home, coping with difficulties, the language of higher education, and learning and IT. The technology driving SAM has

been developed by Keele University’s School of Pharmacy to support learning and teaching on programmes in the Health Faculty. SAM’s service features were further developed with partners Staffordshire University alongside significant input from AMOSSHE, the Student Services Organisation. The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and HEFCE, through the Innovation and Transformation Fund, provided the principal funding, with match funding from Jisc and Keele University. The project lead, Dr Simone Clarke,

director of planning and academic administration at Keele, commented: “We believe SAM offers an innovative and intuitive response to the needs of current and prospective students who now want to be able to access information immediately, wherever they are in the world. “The system will enhance, not replace

traditional University advice services, providing a platform for students to access information and guidance on their own terms whenever they need to, giving traditional services another way to focus on more complex personal enquiries from students.”

Bath leads trials of 3D draw

BATH SPA HAS become the first British University to trial a type of 3D drawing software during a week of workshops. The software, called Sandde, has been developed

by Janro Imaging Labs which has been working in collaboration with Concordia University faculty and graduate students in Montreal, Canada. The software enables users to actually draw freehand in mid-air. The resulting image floats in the space in front of

them, while other users wearing 3D glasses can also interact with it in real time. It was originally created by IMAX co-founder Roman Kroitor. The software has been trialled in the UK by

art and design students and academics, during a week of introduction to the software that included practical instruction on how to use it, as well as discussions around the evolution of 3D art and other new approaches to visual and performative media arts. The workshops were run at the

Bath School of Art and Design by Professor Leila Sujir from Concordia University, and animator David Seitz. Anthony Head, senior lecturer

in Interactive Art and Design at Bath Spa University, said: “The week of demonstrations, talks and experiments by Leila and David was a real eye-opener in terms of increasing the consciousness of the act of drawing.

Swansea University get boost from

SWANSEA UNIVERSITY IS to implement UNIT4 Campus from UNIT4 Business Software. The University expects

the sector-focused back office technology solution to facilitate the institution’s continual pursuit for globally collaborative and internationally recognised research. The software will be

implemented and integrated across multiple functions at the institution. In replacing disparate back

office and manual systems the University expects UNIT4 Campus to help it improve accuracy and visibility of valuable data, drive

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