ARU opens Sensory Sciences Centre in Cambridge

Published: 25 January 2024 at 14:22

Penny Barker opening the new Sensory Science Centre with Professor Roderick Watkins

New £1.9m investment in equipment, teaching and research space for students

Anglia Ruskin University’s new Sensory Sciences Centre in Cambridge was officially opened last night.
The facility, located at ARU’s Compass House on East Road, includes £1.9million of cutting-edge equipment, teaching and research space to support students on Optometry, Ophthalmic Dispensing and Audiology courses, and its opening coincides with the 30th anniversary of Vision and Hearing Sciences at ARU’s Cambridge campus.
The Sensory Sciences Centre contains some of the very latest technology, including LED ophthalmoscopes, video slit lamps and a corneal topographer, allowing ARU students to hone their clinical skills prior to seeing patients in the University Eye Clinic.
ARU is one of the few UK universities to have its own eye clinic, which helps optometry students gain clinical experience whilst delivering free optical care to the local community. 

Based at Bradmore Street, off East Road, the University Eye Clinic has provided over 220,000 free eye appointments to the Cambridge public since opening in 2000. One of those service users, Penny Barker, opened the new centre as guest of honour.
The launch event also highlighted new courses being introduced by ARU in 2024: a Masters degree in Optometry and a blended-learning Ophthalmic Dispensing undergraduate degree, which follow the recent successful introduction of the Audiology degree apprenticeship course.
In addition to the new teaching spaces, the Sensory Sciences Centre will also allow the Vision and Hearing Sciences Research Group to continue to develop and expand its world-leading research.
Dr Helen Keyes, Head of School at ARU, said:

“This fabulous new facility allows our students to train using the very latest technology, equipping them with the skills and practical knowledge needed for their future careers.
“Vision and hearing courses have now been taught at ARU in Cambridge for 30 years, and new equipment within the Sensory Sciences Centre ensures that ARU remains at the cutting edge. This is a wonderful investment for our students, and for the members of the public they will go on to serve.”