Transforming Higher Education Estates and Facilities

further & higher education

08:45 - 16:20

Thursday 23 February 2017

Hallam Conference Centre, London

This Forum provides delegates with an opportunity to hear from leading organisations and universities on how to transform the university estate in order to maximise the quality and efficiency of future Higher Education (HE) estate projects. Attendees will hear from a range of best practice case studies on how to transform HE estates and facilities, with a particular focus on maximising efficiency and commercial value, improving the student experience and enhancing environmental sustainability.


This forum is specifically designed for the Higher Education sector including Assets Managers, Directors of Business Development, Directors and Assistant Directors of Estates and Facilities, Directors of Procurement, Directors of Development and Commercial Activities, Directors of Operations and Maintenance, Heads of Property Services, Directors of Sustainability, Development Managers, Heads of Campus Services, Heads of Strategy and Project Managers.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Dr. Paul M. Marshall, Group Director of Business Development, University Partnerships Programme
  • Mike Clark, Chair Elect, Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE)
  • Colin Blair, Chair of Learning and Development Group, Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) and Director of Estates and Facilities, University of Huddersfield 

*Click here to see other speakers and detailed programme*


Policy Background

The Complete University Guide reported that this year’s cohort of prospective students listed ‘the quality of facilities’ amongst the top 5 most important factors influencing their choice of university, with 58% factoring it into their decision. Furthermore, the Higher Education (HE) estates market is growing considerably in size and significance. According to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), expenditure on university estate has increased markedly over the last 4 years. In 2013/14 alone, universities spent £2.5 billion on their estate, the highest level of estate expenditure on record.

With tuition fees rising substantially in 2010 and potentially further increasing in the coming years, universities must continue to invest in their estates and facilities in order to enhance the experience of their students and remain competitive. In addition, HE funding for 2016/17 has been reduced by approximately £270m compared to the previous year. Improving efficiency, sustainability and maximising income generation potential from university assets has therefore taken on acute importance in HE estate development.

In order to navigate these challenges, it is absolutely critical that universities continue to improve and transform their estates. The HE estates sector therefore needs to come together to explore best practice with regards to maximising quality, driving efficiency and income generation and improving assets management if university estates are going to remain competitive and financially sustainable moving forward.

Headline Sponsor

Paragon30 LOGO_4 Colour_AW

View the Agenda


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Mark Swales, Director of Estates and Facilities, Sheffield Hallam University (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: The Future of the Higher Education Estates Landscape

  • Identifying the current challenges facing Higher Education (HE) estate development and how this may affect future estate planning and strategy
  • Summarising the findings of the Association of University Directors of Estates’ (AUDE) 2015 Higher Education Estates Statistics report
  • Assessing the changing relationship between students and HE providers in light of tuition fee rises and exploring the impact of declining student numbers
  • Highlighting the importance of cost reduction and improved income generation in the face of upward pressure on estate costs and tighter financial constraints
  • Emphasising the need to share guidance and promote best practice across the sector in order to increase efficiency and quality

Mike Clark, Chair Elect, Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Working in Partnership with Universities to Maximise Efficiency and Quality

  • Emphasising the importance of maximising the quality of university estate whilst doing so in a cost-effective manner
  • Partnering with universities to improve estates and provide high quality facilities whilst delivering value for money
  • Allowing universities to make the better use of their assets and providing funding models that are commercially attractive and sustainable
  • Providing specialist facilities management teams to manage new estates in order to improve assets management and quality whilst reducing costs
  • Maximising quality by creating an environment in which students can flourish, with student experience placed at the heart of estate planning

Dr Paul Marshall, Group Director of Business Development, University Partnerships Programme (CONFIRMED)


Key Supporter Session: It’s What’s On the Inside That Counts – Reimagining Learning Space

Lee Harris, Commercial Director and Nicola Slater, Head of Education, Paragon Interiors Group PLC 


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Developing Outstanding Residential Estate

  • Being nominated for the Best Student Housing award at the College and University Business Officers (CUBO) awards 2015
  • Identifying best practice and sharing guidance as to how to develop and expand an excellent residential estate that meets the demands of students
  • Outlining how the university has maximised the quality of the accommodation and facilities available to its students, including through the new Verde development and its numerous modernisation and refurbishment projects
  • Detailing how the university is investing £75 million into the Park View Student Village that will provide an additional 1,300 high-quality student rooms to Newcastle’s residential portfolio

Paul Bandeen, Head of Residences, Newcastle University (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Developing Outstanding Sports Facilities to Enhance Student Experience and Provide Commercial Opportunities

  • Being ranked first for sports-facility quality by The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2016
  • Highlighting the critical importance of sports facilities to student experience and income generation and sharing guidance as to how universities can develop outstanding sports estate
  • Enhancing the sport experience of Loughborough students through developments such as the Holywell fitness centre and the £6 million university swimming pool
  • Working with the university’s financial department to maximise the commercial opportunities such investments have presented Loughborough University in order to generate income and financial return

Andrew Burgess, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Loughborough University (CONFIRMED)


Sponsor Session: Beyond Sustainability in Higher Education

Alan Fogarty, Sustainability Partner, Cundall


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: The Delivery of an Inspiring Campus That Continues to Meet the Needs of a Changing Landscape

  • Understand your business and your market.
  • Understanding your customers, your customers’ needs and what they look for – identifying key areas of the estates’ function which need to change or adapt as a result.
  • Developed and maintaining an overall estates’ strategy that provides flexibility to the core business.
  • Addressing the functionality of the current estate whilst looking towards tomorrow and future proofing where ever possible.

Colin Blair, Director of Estates and Facilities, University of Huddersfield (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Striving Towards Greater Efficiency in Higher Education Estate Planning

  • Being awarded Outstanding Estates Team of the Year at the Times higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2016
  • Sharing guidance and identifying innovative good practice in how to implement a strategic plan to maximise efficiencies and increase cost-effectiveness whilst ensuring quality and value for money
  • Analysing how City, University of London has become of the most space efficient universities in the sector and how other universities can strive to maximise the efficient use of space
  • Outlining the reconfiguration of the Northampton Square campus and how this has achieved significant space efficiencies.
  • Detailing the infrastructural improvements that have been made across the campus as part of the university’s Estates Strategy and how these developments have achieved major savings and efficiencies

Kevin Gibbons, Director of Property and Facilities, City, University of London (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Transforming and Modernising the Entire University Campus

  • Emphasising the importance of exploring new ways to transform and modernise the university campus in order to deliver high quality facilities for students, staff and the community.
  • Sharing best practice and guidance as to how to implement long-term, large-scale estates projects that modernise and transform the whole university campus
  • Outlining the £350m rationalisation and renewal strategy for MMU’s estate and how the strategy is being implemented, including reducing the number of campuses from seven to two and investing in major capital projects such as Birley Fields and John Dalton tower
  • Detailing the key drivers behind the vision, including a need to increase the overall efficiency of the university’s estate and modernise the teaching and learning environment
  • Identifying the key factors required to successfully implement major campus transformations, including a strong strategic vision, strong leadership and good governance and project delivery

Paul Kingsmore, Director of Services, Manchester Metropolitan University (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Enhancing Learning Experience Through Estates and Facilities Development and Improvement

  • Recognising the importance of learning experience to students and sharing guidance as to how to incorporate this into future estate strategy and development
  • Outlining the development of the Boldrewood Innovation Campus and how this has enhanced the quality of facilities available to Southampton students
  • Detailing the vision of the South Gower centre development and how this will transform the teaching and learning experience of students
  • Identifying best practice and sharing lessons learned by the University of Southampton regarding developing the university estate to enhance teaching and learning

Kevin Monaghan, Director of Estates, University of Southampton (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Developing a Green and Sustainable University Estate

  • Being ranked number one in the world for sustainability by the Greenmetric Ranking of World Universities 2015
  • Highlighting the benefits and challenges of environmental sustainability to HE estate development and sharing guidance and best practice as to how to develop a successful sustainability strategy
  • Tackling the university’s carbon footprint and increasing sustainability by implementing a Carbon Management Strategy and investing in renewable energy sources
  • Reducing waste and increasing recycling by investing in recycling schemes, compost sites and working with contractors to reduce waste during new construction projects
  • Prioritising sustainability in the university strategy and reducing maintenance costs in new university buildings, including through sustainable urban drainage systems and using rainwater harvesting

Andrew Nolan, Director of Sustainability, University of Nottingham (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Maximising Income Generation and Financial Sustainability in Higher Education Estate Strategy

  • Recognising the importance of increasing the financial return of university estate and improving income generation in an increasingly competitive and financially constrained HE sector
  • Sharing best practice and and guidance as to how to maximise income and financial return from estates in innovative and effective ways
  • Merging the management of commercial services into the University of Bradford estates department in order to enhance the synergy and operational effectiveness between the two departments
  • Outlining the numerous initiatives through which the university enhances the financial return of the estate, including catering services, nursery services and the Imprint and Design printing service

Chris Spargo, Head of Commercial Services, University of Bradford (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close


  • Paragon30 LOGO_4 Colour_AW

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