further & higher education

4th Annual Higher Education Estates and Facilities Forum

further & higher education

08:45 - 15:50

Thursday 14 February 2019

Central London

This Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to discuss the latest policies and strategies taken to provide the best possible estates and facilities to improve student experience and provide the basis for world class learning environments. Attendees will also examine best practice case studies on how UK Higher Education (HE) estates can lead the way in environmental sustainability, reducing carbon emissions and providing outstanding residential accommodation to ensure that students receive the best possible university experience.


This Forum will bring together sector leaders from the Higher Education sector. Typical job titles will include:

  • Directors of Estates and Facilities
  • Directors of Health and Safety
  • Senior Co-design Managers
  • Commercial Directors
  • Student Experience Officers
  • Director of Estates and Campus Services
  • Partnerships Directors
  • Project Managers
  • Architects
  • Head of Campus Services
  • Heads of Property and Development
  • Directors of Procurement
Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • James Clay, Senior co-design manager, Jisc
  • Nicolas Moore, Vice President, Learning and Teaching, University College of Estate Management
  • Lara Newman, Chief Executive, LocatED
View the agenda and additional speakers

The case for the improving of university estates has been made in a study by the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE), which found that over 80% of prospective students say that the quality of estates influenced their decision of where to study. The same report found that university sector management and maintenance costs for estates remained at £2 billion in 2017, despite increases in estate sizes and operational costs.

Whilst facing these financial constraints, in 2017 universities also saw a 4% drop in the number of applications according to UCAS figures. This number is expected to continue to drop given the uncertainty regarding changes in funding post-Brexit.

In 2011, HEFCE set a carbon reduction target of 43% for 2020, to help meet the UK’s commitment for the 2008 Climate Change Act. Universities have had to rethink their carbon management and sustainability strategies as there has only been a reduction of 8.5% so far.

The HE Estate provides a wide range of opportunities for universities to innovate, improve learning, enhance accessibility facilities and residential accommodation. In this way they can improve student recruitment and engagement to create a university that provides an all-round experience that is inclusive for all needs.

With competing priorities to reduce costs and improve services, increasing commercial income from the estates will be essential if universities wish to remain competitive. At the same time, as concerns about universities failing to meet their carbon reduction rates increase, estate management and regeneration offer new opportunities to move towards environmentally friendly and self-sufficient building design. Unless higher education providers act now to improve the quality of their facilities and estates management, student engagement, experience and recruitment will be severely compromised.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Colin Robbins, Director of Estates and Facilities, University of Reading (invited)

Winner of the Facilities & Services Category at the EACU Green Gown Awards 2016


Morning Keynote: Driving Forward Improvements in Higher Education Estates through Planning and Design

  • Exploring key themes for future HE design, including innovation, learning from past lessons, adaptability and learning environments for the future
  • Understanding how to create estates that will support all students, including those with disabilities
  • Discussing how the government will help support higher education institutions to develop estates that will enable the UK to develop an international reputation for the provision of higher education estates
  • Examining the challenges facing the higher education sector when developing quality facilities and how the government will support these institutions to over come these

Senior Representative, Department for Education (Invited)


Special Keynote: Using Data to Create Intelligent Campuses

  • Outlining Jisc’s Intelligent Campus Project and their work on building a learning analytics service
  • Exploring how analysing physical places data can allow for the smarter use of facilities and learning spaces
  • Discussing how understanding student movements and experiences can improve learning and teaching experiences for future generations of students
  • Assessing the next steps in Jisc’s Intelligent Campus Project and how higher education institutions can get involved to create intelligent campuses

James Clay, Senior Co-Design Manager, Jisc (CONFIRMED)


Sponsored Session


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Renovating Existing Buildings to Reduce Carbon Emissions

  • Building a new urban campus and cultural quarter for the city maintaining environmental and financial sustainability at the forefront of its strategy
  • Emphasising the role of renovation rather than new build, redesigning improved natural lighting in a building at a cost of £985,000
  • Exploring the process of creating an estate plan that both satisfies the university’s core strategy and senior leadership whilst also helping to build the cultural quarter of Norwich that reduces carbon emissions
  • Renovating a Grade II listed building to serve as a home to new architecture programme and winning a regional award from the Royal Institute of British Architecture by combining contemporary updates to ensure a stimulating environment
  • Outlining the journey to exceeding their carbon emission reduction target of 20% by the year 2020 by ensuring that environmental sustainability is at the forefront of all structural changes

Winner of the TES Leadership and Management Awards for Outstanding Estates Strategy 2018

Angela Robson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor , Norwich University of the Arts (invited)


Case Study: Innovating and Improving Student Accommodation

  • Discussing what makes outstanding student accommodation through understanding student needs
  • Investing in the future: creating sustainable accommodation for generations of students
  • Outlining the journey taken to improve student accommodation and how to ensure inclusion of all students through offering specialist rooms for students with disabilities
  • Understanding how to create a welcoming environment for first year students to ensure high student satisfaction by encouraging socialising
  • Assessing the importance of offering various types of student accommodation, such as postgraduate halls, townhouses and en-suite rooms

Deirdre McIntyre, Head of Residential Life, Bangor University (invited)

Winners of the National Student Housing Awards 2018 for Best University Halls and Best Financial Management

Winners of the WhatUni? Student Choice Awards 2018 for Accommodation and Clubs & Societies and Third Place for University of the Year  


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Ensuring Continuous Improvement for Estate Managers

  • Outlining the key skills needed for estate managers in the higher education sector
  • Supporting the professional development of estate management staff and understanding how continuous professional development can ensure better quality estates
  • Discussing the best methods for encouraging personal development within your team
  • Ensuring sustainability is a focus of all professional development for estate management and encouraging sustainability for all built environment projects

Nicolas Moore, Vice President, Learning and Teaching, University College of Estate Management (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Unlocking Funds Through Creative Redevelopment of Surplus Buildings and Land

  • Exploring the principles of a new pilot scheme that can help unlock funds from school sites to support additional capital investment in school buildings and how this could benefit higher education estates
  • Understanding how to identify underutilised buildings and land, and learn how to unlock the potential of learning and teaching facilities to meet the changing needs of education
  • Advising on how redeveloping your estate can help release land for affordable and key-worker housing in areas of high housing need
  • Sharing lessons learnt from LocatED’s pilot scheme and exploring how higher education estate professionals can adopt similar principles to optimise university sites and generate funds

Lara Newman, Chief Executive, LocatED (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Ensuring Sustainability for all Estates and Facilities

  • Discussing the importance of creating sustainable working environments for students, staff and the community
  • Understanding how the University of Newcastle ensured the Urban Sciences Building helped to encourage sustainability within town centres
  • Emphasising the importance of creating a sustainability strategy and ensuring all new buildings or major refurbishments adhere to these goals
  • Exploring how the University of Newcastle ensured that sustainable was at the forefront of priorities when creating new learning facilities and estates

Iain Garfield, Acting Director of Estates, University of Newcastle (invited)



Case Study: Effectively Improving Existing Estates through Transformation and Modernisation

  • Discussing the 2020 Estates Vision put forward by the University of Hertfordshire and the key improvements they intend to make across a multi-campus university
  • Understanding how modernisation and transformation are key to creating an inclusive student environment
  • Exploring how to prioritise building improvements to have the largest impact on learning facilities
  • Creating a collaborative working partnership with the local community to ensure disruption to the public will be kept to a minimum

Thomas Andrews, Acting Head of Facilities Management Estates, Hospitality and Contract Services – Facilities, University of Hertfordshire (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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