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UCLan Cyprus wins InAvation Award

Cyprus’ first private UK university campus wins Europe’s top audio visual innovation award

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Cyprus Campus has won the sought-after title of ‘Most InAVative Education Facility’ at the prestigious Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) InAVation Awards.

Developed to celebrate and encourage professional excellence within the commercial AV communication industries, the EMEA InAVation Awards is an established programme, which is recognised and valued across the world.

On the awards night of Wednesday, 30 January 2013, UCLan triumphed over 30 competition entrants as well as shortlisted projects from four other university finalists based in England, the Republic of Ireland and Russia. 

According to the judging criteria, the award is given to the university whose entry shows most evidence of a well-developed system design which brings together technologies that are innovative, functional and usable.

Dr Lee Chatfield, Rector at UCLan Cyprus, said: ‘The vision for UCLan Cyprus includes the provision of high quality and future proof IT and AV facilities to support the learning needs of our students as they study for careers in the technologically demanding environment of the 21st Century. We are delighted that, by combining the expertise of our own IT experts in Preston with ALA our AV contractor in Cyprus, we have turned our vision into technical reality.

“This award is deserved recognition for the creation of the best IT/ AV and on-line resources on the island and is proving hugely popular with students and staff alike.”

The EMEA InAVation Awards judging panel gave the following commendation:  “The UCLan Cyprus Campus incorporates all of what AV has to offer education, from distance learning facilities to high end presentation solutions and innovative multi-use spaces. The judges were also impressed by the glowing terms of the customer’s testimonial for ALA’s speed of delivery and snag-free installation.”

Two other companies, Christie and Extron, also won awards. Both firms have supplied AV products which have been integrated into the system developed by UCLan Cyprus.  

Audio visual highlights include smart podium monitors in every classroom which allow presenters to annotate or draw freehand onto a projected display without the need for a whiteboard and pens. The main lecture theatre is designed around a full HD 1080P projector and 5.1 surround sound system. A video conferencing system allows for streaming either into or out of Preston while the entrance foyer video wall (believed to the first installation of its kind in a UK university) is capable of displaying content up to four times full HD video. 

Dr Chatfield added: “We seek to provide an international experience for our students, and the IT/AV facilities will permit the live, real-time streaming of lectures and teaching sessions between our campuses in the UK and Cyprus.

“Those students who are unable to travel between our campuses will still be able to benefit from teaching sessions delivered in both countries, thus enhancing the world-class experience we already provide.” 

Floros Voniatis, Director of FG Holdings Ltd and Founding Partner and board member of UCLan Cyprus, added: “It is a year, virtually to the day, since we began building the magnificent UCLan Cyprus Campus here in Pyla. We delivered the completed campus on time and to the required specification. Student applications for 2013 entry are already looking buoyant and I am very optimistic about the future

“To win this prestigious award is a fantastic achievement and is yet another indication of the world-class UK University education we are offering here in Cyprus. We are very proud to be rewarded for entrusting our University’s AV to ALA, within the strict time constraints we have given them, for the really hard and amazing work that has been carried out in our University from our technical team, from ALA and its collaborators (Christie, Extron).

“Speaking on behalf of all Directors of the Board, we are all justifiably boastful that in only our first year of operations we succeeded in being the Most InAVative Educational Facility out of so many highly regarded competitors in the whole Europe, the Middle East and Africa region. As a significant part of the University of Central Lancashire Group, UCLan Cyprus is proud to reflect the Group’s mission and values through this fantastic recognition.”

Technology summary

Teaching rooms:

The 12 teaching rooms were designed to provide the academic staff and students with an up to date, but very easy to use teaching display system. All rooms have a touch screen control panel which has been programmed to allow easy navigation around the system with built in controls for room lighting, projector screen and audio volume.  Presentations can be made from a networked PC, a Blu-ray player or via an input panel allowing the user to connect to the projector display with laptops, cameras, iPad etc. Both current analogue connectors and digital HDMi have been catered for. A touch screen Smart Podium monitor has been incorporated, which allows the presenter to annotate or freehand draw onto the projected display without the need for a whiteboard and pens.  The system can be easily upgraded to full HD if required in the future.

Lecture theatre:

The lecture theatre is designed around a full HD 1080P projector and 5.1 surround sound system. A theatrical lighting system and audio tie lines to and from the stage have also been incorporated to allow for special/external events. Digital/analogue video and audio feeds have been installed for press/media connections.

As with the teaching rooms, the control system allows for a user at the stage lectern to have simple control over the main teaching system, but a more complicated set up and control can be achieved via the control room touch screen panel by a technician. A PC, Blu-ray player and input panel sources are provided both at the lectern and in the control room.

The lecture theatre incorporates a Polycom video conferencing system which would allow streaming either into or out of Preston or to anywhere equipped with another Polycom system. The lecture theatre presentations can also be displayed in full HD onto the Entrance Foyer Video wall.

Foyer Video wall:

The entrance foyer video wall was designed using the latest in-video wall technology. It consists of a 10 X 6 array of Christie Microtile panels. This is fed via a Christie Jump start server and is capable of displaying up to 4 times full HD video. 

Full details on the AV and information technology installed at UCLan Cyprus can be found here:http://www.alacyprus.com/ala-cyprus-uclan-campus-cyprus-most-inavative-education-facility-2/