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Business & Economy

The Last Word: Professor Paul Croney

Closing this month’s issue of North East Times Magazine, Professor Paul Croney, Teesside University vice-chancellor and chief executive, talks about the institution’s recently-announced £35 million BIOS science and medical building, which he says will deliver a unique learning experience while helping the healthcare sector meet future challenges.


What is the BIOS building, and how will it complement the university’s existing health and life sciences provision? 

Our school of health and life sciences has an excellent reputation as a leading provider of training to the healthcare sector, and BIOS will allow us to develop and further grow this provision. 

With its new laboratories, BIOS will transform and further modernise the learning experience for students, in disciplines such as imaging, anatomy, microbiology and chemistry. 

The specialist equipment will enable new and interactive forms of learning, which replicate modern healthcare settings. 

This includes a clinical skills floor with an innovative immersion suite for digital teaching and a purpose-built operating department practice suite to support the development of these key workers.

The overarching intention is to enable the university to work in partnership with the healthcare sector to ensure our learning and skills provision meets their workforce development priorities.


To what extent has the need for the facility been influenced by the global pandemic?

Expansion of our health and life sciences facilities has been part of our campus masterplan since before the pandemic. 

However, COVID-19 placed a much greater emphasis on the need for the higher education sector to respond at pace to the changing needs and priorities of the healthcare sector. 

Throughout the pandemic, we worked tirelessly with healthcare partners to develop flexible training solutions to meet the unprecedented challenges they were encountering. 

BIOS will give us extra capacity to develop similar agile responses to industry needs, ranging from short CPD courses through to postgraduate qualifications. 

Much as our National Horizons Centre (NHC) was instrumental in enabling us to pivot quickly to developing training for the vaccine manufacturing workforce, BIOS will give us the ability to meet the future learning needs of frontline healthcare workers.


BIOS forms part of a wider university masterplan that includes the £13.1 million Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre. What do these investments say about the institution’s commitment to delivering revolutionary change across national industry, while putting Teesside at its heart?

To date, we’ve invested £275 million as part of our Campus Masterplan, with further developments in the pipeline. 

Not only does this ensure we are able to deliver a world-class student and learning experience, but it also underlines our commitment to acting as an agent for economic regeneration in the Tees Valley and beyond. 

Capital developments like BIOS, our Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre and the NHC are the university’s response to the ‘levelling-up’ agenda; these strategic projects will deliver the workforce of the future and address significant challenges that face society today, such as the climate emergency and the need to modernise health and social care.  

Teesside is a global university, rooted in the Tees Valley. 

A recent economic impact survey shows that, in the period 2020/2021, as a university, we contributed £229 million gross value added to the economy of the North East and Tees Valley.

Furthermore, the enhanced earning potential of our graduates means our combined human capital totals £1.34 billion. 

We will always ensure our work benefits the communities we serve. Each of our capital projects has social value targets; we work with our contractors to prioritise local spend and job creation. 

Our ambitious developments also act as a magnet for further inward investment and economic regeneration, not to mention the economic impact of the many thousands of students who come to Teesside to study.