Discover and share good practice for smarter working universities

WonkHE

Could the common room be coming back?

The common room has been phased out of some Higher Education institutions in the name of efficiency. But writing in Wonkhe, Paul Greatrix observes that the need to encourage more collaboration may see its return.
Picture credit: University of Wolverhampton

Universities reinvesting estates savings in capital projects, says AUDE

Universities estates costs have remained stable over the past five years despite increasing pressures, the Association of University Directors of Estate’s (AUDE) annual report reveals.

AUDE updates its toolkit for sustainable estates

An updated version of the Model of Estates Costs has been published by AUDE, which feeds into its toolkit providing guidance for a sustainable estate. The toolkit, which is backed by a number of higher education funders, was put together to improve the tools available to institutions for the management of space in the sector.
UEA campus

Balancing the heart and the head: maintaining UEA’s iconic buildings

The University of East Anglia is taking a low-cost approach to its efficiency and effectiveness programme, which is being delivered by a small team. Ian Powling meets four members of this team to discover their progress in realising the programme
Collaborative teaching laboratory at the University of Birmingham

How one university is tackling under-utilised teaching spaces

Single discipline teaching labs can often be under used: typically for just 24 weeks per year. Ian Tidmarsh explains how new larger teaching labs at the University of Birmingham aim to provide more flexibility, higher utilisation and thus deliver better value for money.

Do you speak laboratory?

The S-Lab: Supporting World Class Science programme aims to improve laboratory efficiency and effectiveness in all dimensions, including scientific value, resource efficiency and staff well-being. S-Lab director Peter James discusses the crucial role of estates and facilities in supporting these objectives.
Teaching Laboratory in the University of Sunderland's science complex

Championing change in Sunderland’s new science complex

When the University of Sunderland refurbished its science complex, the ambitions for the project was to transform the faculty’s culture. The university’s head of estates, Iain Garfield, explains how engaging “change champions” was key to the project’s success.

The higher education estate: delivering effective space use

Research into space efficiency in higher education suggests that universities have successfully adapted buildings to accommodate current patterns of working. Sian Kilner, who helped to carry out the research, says space management will become even more vital as cash to invest in redeveloping universities reduces.

Innovative spaces and pedagogies for enhanced teaching and learning

The rise in tuition fees over recent years has made delivering value to students increasingly important, placing renewed spotlight on the quality of teaching and learning spaces within higher education. A recent forum event, hosted by FaulknerBrowns Architects, explored how innovative teaching and learning spaces could support radical new pedagogies.

Survey shows facilities a key factor in students’ choice of university

Research released by AUDE shows that facilities are key for two thirds of UK students when choosing university, with the library being cited as the most used university facility. Some 85% of the 2,000 surveyed say they are learning, socialising and living in clean and well maintained university buildings.