Published: 14 June 2016

Enriching campus life

The Annual Fund is essential in improving the student experience, supporting activities and projects that otherwise would not happen. We received a wonderful response to our spring telephone campaign, with 332 supporters pledging a fantastic £143,000.

Thanks to their support we have been able to fund 18 projects that will have a transformative impact on our students.

Below are just three examples of the projects your support has made possible.

Positive Autism

The Positive Autism Project is ground-breaking programme which aims to give students with autism a safe campus and a positive university experience.

In the past five years there has been a 200% increase in students with autism attending University - however according to the Equality Challenge Unit, of all the students with disabilities those with autism are the least likely to finish their university degrees with good grades, and are the most likely to drop out.

Supported by the Annual Fund, this project will not only provide social structure for autistic students, but run widespread awareness and acceptance campaigns through the whole of the University.

Psychology PhD student Monique Botha said: “By trying to create an autism-friendly campus, the University will be only the second in Europe to do so. The project aims to create a healthy atmosphere on campus, beginning to breakdown the stigma that plagues those with autism.”

Paramedic training

Students studying for their degree in Paramedic Practice will be able to spend more time using essential training equipment with the Paramedic Society. Alongside the timetabled skill sessions in the academic programme, the group runs training workshops to boost students skills and confidence.

Previously the society was limited to holding training sessions at ambulance stations, which reduced flexibility with dates and times, and also meant students had to travel outside Guildford to practice. Thanks to the support of our generous donors, the students will now have ample time to develop their skills and build their confidence as clinicians.  

Open for business

Surrey is known for its strong enterprise culture. Now, thanks to an Annual Fund grant, the campus innovation hub will be transformed to give more budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to get business advice and develop their start-up ideas.

The new space will be open to students and staff across the University, bridging the gap between classroom and business. The Student Enterprise team will run more activities in the relaxed environment, where students can also network and exchange information and skills.

Tracy Hampton, Student Enterprise Project Coordinator, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to upgrade the innovation hub for young entrepreneurs, in response to a huge increase in interest in entrepreneurship over the past few years at Surrey.”

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