Students and staff will be able to use the new and much improved Muni University Computer Centre at Komenského náměstí after the summer holidays, but will first need to be patient while the university installs the new equipment and modernises the whole area. This means that the centre will be closed between 25 June and 17 September.
The university has known for several months that users have wanted to see some changes in the four rooms of the centre, thanks to the user survey conducted by the centre’s administrators.
“The renovated centre will be better suited to the needs of its users, which have substantially changed since it was first opened. As we know from the day-to-day running of the centre and from the survey, what students mind most is the lack of a space for group work and a lack of privacy at the individual computers,” says Michal Vičar, the head of the Public Relations Department at the MU Institute of Computer Science.
It is not that the centre did not want to change, but for a long time, it lacked the necessary funding. This has now been secured thanks to the 400 million crowns that the university received from the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education financed by the European Union. As part of the current call for applications for supporting the development of the study environment at higher education institutions, the Ministry of Education is giving more than three billion crowns to Czech universities.
“After the renovation, the University Computer Centre will be a convenient place for study, group work, and the social activities of both students and university staff with suitable equipment and facilities, while keeping the unique 24/7 opening hours,” adds Vičar.
What does all this actually mean? This will not be a complete overhaul of the centre as students currently know it, and there will not be any tearing down of walls. However, all the computers will be replaced by “all in one” machines and all the electrical wiring will be upgraded. Students will also be able to recharge their electronic devices at the individual stations, which will be particularly handy for mobile phones. The whole centre will be divided into three zones: study, quiet, and social.
The study zone will consist of three rooms with a total of 115 computers divided by screens to increase privacy and make students feel more at home. However, it will still be forbidden to eat, talk on the phone or otherwise disturb other users in this area.
When students want to take their eyes off the screens for a moment or have a bite to eat, they will be able to use the quiet zone, which will also serve as the entrance corridor to the individual study rooms.
The social zone for students who want to work together in the centre will be situated in the back study room. The room will be newly furnished with furniture that can be moved as needed and there will be no desktop computers in order to make more space for notebooks. All the other areas in the centre will also get new furniture and carpets.