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Audio Visual Centres in the 21st century
8 Design Consultants for the University Sector.
8.1 If a UK standard was eventually secured for lecture theatres then it would seem logical to have the same design team for the entire University sector. This could take two forms: i) employ our own architects for the UK in house (where ever that may be!) ii) employ a contractor to supply the service required and would be appointed via University purchasing consortia. Agreement between the numerous consortia groups would be essential.
8.2 The latter would offer greater continuity and expertise than could be achieved `in house'. To employ our own staff would not be cost effective for a UK initiative. Location, management politics and funding would also be problematic to name but a few.
8.3 Individual tendering would not be necessary under the terms of procurement practice as this would have been undertaken by the purchasing consortium thus saving time and effort for each institution. AV design would always be central to the design concept. AV consultants and or Media Services units would be involved in the project form the outset.
8.4 New contracts would be re negotiated every three years, or sooner, if problems arose. Specifications would be upgraded to suit changing technologies. AV consultancy services could be provided for institutions that did not have the expertise in house. In any case the services of the preferred AV supplier/installer must be employed by the appointed architects. To note, that at present, institutions are not compelled to use CVCP or LUPC preferred suppliers. To ensure success of the purchasing consortia, CVCP must enforce financial regulations to make institutions buy from appointed suppliers at all times.
8.5 These are only first thoughts but the concept is essential if UK universities are to provide a stable , interchangeable and flexible teaching environment which uses new and developing technologies to its advantage.
8.6 If change does not take place, and soon, teaching staff will be dogged by dissimilar presentation technologies for the foreseeable future.
8.7 If we succeed, the rest of the world will follow - or will they? A world wide standard, now there's a thought.
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