The hub of University of Surrey

Hello everyone,

It has been three days after the start of this year’s Easter vacation. Universities in the UK tend to have fairly long holiday breaks (from 26th Match and 16th April – that is a total of three weeks) and University of Surrey is of no exception.

Glad to hear that Hillary has finished most of her assignment deadlines before the start of the Easter. It is not difficult to learn that Hillary and many other first year and second year students have already been taking relaxing break elsewhere: barely can I see anyone in the library. In fact, Easter vacation may not be so relax for final year students. For those final year students whose courses require them to produce a dissertation, perhaps Easter vacation is a perfect time to optimise their work processes.

The library in University of Surrey opens 24/7 everyday (Easter break inclusive), albeit partly closure for essential refurbishment during 15th April and 20th April inclusive.

As one of the deadline fighters, I have planned to spend most of the Easter break inside this lovely building: university library. Why ? It is all about experience of study environment. Although admittedly studying can sometimes be stressful, a student-oriented environment is definitely paramount to ensure that our student experience is always enhanced and maximised.

Shall we start our virtual tours of the university library?

At the entrance there is a 24 hours security reception and automatic gate which is only accessible to university students. It shows that safety measures are implemented to ensure the safety of all Surrey students.

Level 1

This is the common hub at the entrance. The university defines this area as ‘informal study space’. I would interpret that as somewhere students can chill and relax.

There are 11 group study rooms in the library. Students can utilise the facilities after making reservation on the booking system.

Equipped with computer, group study rooms are some nice places for study groups or project groups.

This is the open-door quite stud area.

On level one there are about 110 laptops that are all loadable to students. Students can borrow a laptop from the above self-service cabinet and as long as the laptop is returned within the 4-hour loanable period, there is no fee for borrowing. Moreover, there is no restriction on the number of times per day per students. I personally grab a laptop and head to the nearby Starbucks between my lectures and it feels so ‘English’ !

More spaces for quite studies on Level 1.

Level 2

Individual study area provides spaces for silent studies. Hillary would agree that studying in an environment where you are surrounded by other hard-working students can boost the efficiency of work. Indeed, the culture and norms in individual study area have actually reinforced to substantiate the social order: a shared social contract agreed by all individuals in a particular context .

Some of the individual spaces is equipped with computers.

Level 4


I quite enjoy doing my study in one of those ‘cubes’. This area has just been refurbished for less than a year and I want to take this opportunity to credit the designers. Whenever I do my studying inside those ‘cubes’, I can’t help myself to link these ‘cubes’ with the cubes for first class passengers inside an aircraft. Perhaps little private personal space means something from the psychological perspective (N.B. Hillary when you see this, please dig into this question for me)?

Level 5

A dual monitors with one computer speaks to my interest: I can draft notes on the left whilst reading literature on the right. It is stunning.


And there is breathtaking view from Level 5!

Open secret

There is a shower on the first floor of the library. An acquaintance of mine says that taking a cold water shower can help us staying awake longer than consuming caffeine. Whether it is true or not, enjoying a shower in the library is still a moment of pleasure during the break (in case if you apply the ‘tomato technique’ on your study routine).

Happy Easter to all!


David xx