Humanities unveils state-of-the-art postgrad commons

02 May 2011

Humanities students enjoy the new Postgraduate Commons facilitiesIn style: Humanities students enjoy the new Postgraduate Commons facilities, now available in the Graduate School for Humanities.

The Faculty of Humanities has unveiled its hi-tech postgraduate computer lab, known as the Postgraduate Commons. Housed in the Graduate School of Humanities, this purpose-built facility meets the needs of the faculty's senior students.

The brainchild of a team headed by humanities IT manager, Puleng Makhoalibe, the project was conceived in October last year. The project team had noted that the faculty's existing facility was not on par with similar facilities in other faculties. Neither did it meet the needs of the postgrads.

"Our postgrad students were not making optimal use of the designated space," said Makhoalibe.

Working with the Humanities Postgraduate Student Committee, the project team conducted a poll among postgraduate students. What emerged was a need for updated equipment, better connectivity (Wi-Fi connectivity particularly for laptop users), and a space that offered seminar rooms, an area for relaxation - and a tea room.

Building commenced in November 2010 and the project was completed in February 2011. The space is now unrecognisable. New features also include modern carousels with big-screen PC monitors and private work spaces.

A novel feature of the laboratory is a 'stop and go' area for quick, 15-minute internet and email access. The new computer lab also incorporates a print room offering printing, photocopying and scanning facilities, private lockers and break-away rooms that can be reserved online. There is also a dedicated reception area for the resident tutors who are on-hand to assist students each day between 08h00 and 20h00.

"This has been an incredibly exciting and challenging project for us," added Makhoalibe. "We received enormous support from the humanities executive as well as from Associate Professor Colin Tredoux of the Department of Psychology. This enabled us to create a space that is visually appealing, contemporary and conducive to creativity."

For more information on the new postgraduate lab, visit the Humanities Central Technology Unit website.

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