FILM students in Huddersfield are ahead of the game.
The University of Huddersfield students are being taught with technology so advanced, it's ahead of most of the industry.
The University has just taken delivery of £¾m worth of new technology, making it one of Britain’s most advanced centres for journalism.
And the ‘out-of-this-world’ facilities are to be officially launched by Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart at a ceremony next month.
The spending on the latest technology is bucking the trend as a number of other universities are looking at tightening their budgets because of overspending.
The new kit includes the latest ‘tape-less’ cameras. The Panasonic P2s, which have just started being used at Sky News, operate with a flash card instead of tape.
This means images can be imported for editing within a matter of moments instead of transferring tape footage in real time.
The BBC is also starting to use this technology in London before being rolled out. But ITV say that a spending freeze means they could have to wait another 18 months to two years before they get it.
The major investment in Huddersfield’s Journalism department also includes a high-definition custom-built TV studio and gallery and state-of-the-art radio studios.
The campus also boasts 30 AVID video editing suites, and industry standard desktop publishing software.
All students on Huddersfield's journalism degree are taught how to use cameras, edit and produce video news.
Alistair Billam, Head of Media and Journalism, said: “In this day and age, journalists need to be multi-skilled.
“Newspapers are increasingly sending out reporters with video cameras to shoot video-news for their websites.
“We have a partnership with the BBC and they say that they want our journalism students to be multi-skilled when they go on placements. They need to be able to write for the BBC websites as well as film and use radio”.
The new radio studios and TV studio will be opened by Hollywood star Stewart next month. He is also the Chancellor of the University and will be over for the college's graduation ceremonies.
Muj Rahman, a 23-year-old student from Crosland Moor, said: “It’s brilliant that this is the latest equipment for the industry.
“It puts us at an advantage when we go for jobs because we will already be familiar with the kit and we won’t have to be re-trained”.
Fellow student Matthew Nash, 20, from Dewsbury, said: “The new cameras are amazing. They are better quality and easier to use and the fact they do not use tape makes it easier and so much quicker to load the images.”
Mr Billam added: “It’s important that when our students graduate next year, to give them the very best chance of getting into the industry, they need to be able to use the very latest technology which is being used in the industry.
“This is why we edit with AVID. Some universities use Windows moviemaker but it’s too basic for the industry and often the students have used that anyway, at school at pre GCSE level”.