A new branch of Valli Opticians has been opened on the campus at the University of Huddersfield – but it’s about so much more than just an eye test.

The new eye clinic, a partnership between Valli Opticians and the university, was opened by university Chancellor Sir George Buckley.

By opening its doors to the public, the clinic offers optometry students an unparalleled experience in their learning and clinical development.

University Valli Opticians features an extensive suite of state-of-the-art computerised equipment for eye examinations and specialist vision assessments including imaging equipment. Patients can choose from a range of contemporary spectacle frames and are provided with a full fitting and aftercare service.

Taking up the whole of the ground floor of the Joseph Priestley (East) Building, students develop key clinical skills aligned with modern optometric practice in purpose-built pre-clinical teaching areas before moving to University Valli Opticians for their final year clinics. 

Valli Opticians is a Huddersfield-based independent chain with 15 practices including branches in Meltham, Honley, Almondbury, Netherton, Lockwood and Slaithwaite.

Sir George Buckley cuts the ribbon

Moin Valli, managing director of Valli Opticians, said the practice was committed to bringing back a sense of care by building long lasting relationships and actively seeking out opportunities to engage with the community through local initiatives. 

“We are delighted to collaborate in this innovative way with the University of Huddersfield,” said Mr Valli.

“University Valli Opticians will shape the future of optometry students by giving them substantial real-life clinical and commercial experiences of working in a proper optometry practice. This is a fantastic unique selling point of the university’s BSc (Hons) Optometry course.” 

Prof John Siderov, head of the Department of Optometry and Vision Science, is helping to oversee the unique knowledge enterprise.

He said: “By working together to develop the field of optometry, University Valli Opticians will benefit the wider community, enhance the student experience as well as provide placement and employment experiences for our students.”

The Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences (OVS) actively recruits students onto the programme through UCAS and through the university’s Science Extended Degree, subject to achieving the required grades. This widening participation ensures those who might not have acquired the desired qualifications to join a BSc (Hons) science degree, can still be given the opportunity to become optometrists.

The department is housed within the university’s School of Applied Sciences in dedicated, purpose-built accommodation as part of an £18.2 million development.

During his speech at the clinic’s official opening, the university’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Bob Cryan ’s congratulated Prof Siderov and his team on their recent accreditation awarded by the General Optical Council.

“Approval is only granted once you have met the stringent requirements of the General Optical Council, so I would personally like to offer my congratulations on this wonderful achievement,” said Prof Cryan.

Representatives from industry leading eye care and equipment brands such as Hoya, Optos, Keeler, Haag-Streit, Nano Vista, Stepper and Body Doctor attended the official opening of University Valli Opticians which was followed by a guided tour.

To book an eye examination or contact lens assessment go to hud.ac/nf9