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higher education estates magazine (hee)

hee magazine digital edition - May/June 2017

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The HE market

Universities increase turnover via business driven developments

The UK university sector grew by £2bn in one year, and it annual turnover now equates to £30bn overall, according to the latest figures from the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE).

AUDE’s annual report, ‘Higher Education Estates Statistics Report 2016’, which spans the academic year 2014-2015, shows that teaching income had risen by 6% per annum, while income from research increased by 12%. The two largest institutions in the UK each turnover in excess of £1bn per annum.

Estates growth

The university estate equates to 14.3m sqm, which represents an increase of 200,000 sqm on the previous year. During this time, numbers of research students increased by 10,000 and staff numbers increased by 2,000.

Capital expenditure for the year reached a record high of £2.75bn. This growth of 5.6% on the previous year was driven by investment in the estate in the knowledge that staff and students expect high quality and attractive facilities.

The AUDE report reveals university estates continue to expand. Individually, the universities of Manchester, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford and Nottingham all have academic estates (excluding residential accommodation) in excess of 500,000 sqm.

Commercial deals

Universities’ income rose to £1,477 per sqm in 2014/15. For example, the University of Hertfordshire embarked on a strategy to boost income by securing commercial deals with businesses such as Ocado and Regus for office space, as well as commercial leases with bank Santander and the NHS which runs a GP clinic on campus.

Across the sector, examples are documented by AUDE of universities exploiting their estates in order to secure alternative funding streams outside of traditional routes. The University of Sheffield built workshops, laboratories and office space in Catcliffe near the M1 in a business park. The capital expenditure in Sheffield Business Park will deliver 4,000 jobs and generate over £210m per annum to the regional economy when fully developed.

Goals for estates departments

Driving efficiency, reducing costs, improving the estate, raising service levels and increasing the commercial income from the estate remain key areas of focus for estate directors.

Ambitious infrastructure spend plans

In the face of challenging financial conditions, the HE sector wants to invest over £17.8 billion in infrastructure projects over the next four years, according to new figures from HEFCE. If achievable, this would represent an average annual investment of £4.5 billion, 51% higher than the previous four-year average.

Latest news

Top five HE priorities set out for the next government

Top five HE priorities set out for the next government  » 

SECURING an effective post-Brexit settlement for universities and introducing a new immigration system that welcomes international students and staff are just two of the priorities set out for the next government.

Funding confirmed for EU students for 2018 to 2019

Funding confirmed for EU students for 2018 to 2019  » 

EU STUDENTS applying for university places in the 2018 to 2019 academic year will remain eligible for financial support.

Edinburgh receives £29m funding for biotech  » 

THE Roslin Institute, part of the University of Edinburgh, is to benefit from £29m of UK government money to support the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s mission to further scientific knowledge, particularly around controlling infectious diseases.

New chair at AUDE

New chair at AUDE  » 

THE Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) has appointed University of Brighton’s Mike Clark as its new chair.

New hub for skills at heart of Nottingham FE plans  » 

NEW COLLEGE Nottingham and Central College are continuing to work towards a formal merger which will create Nottingham College.

Law courts and City trading room at new Bristol Business School

Law courts and City trading room at new Bristol Business School  » 

A £55M project at the University of West England (UWE Bristol) has delivered a new home for the Faculty of Business and Law in the heart of Frenchay Campus.

Birmingham Health Sciences building tops out

Birmingham Health Sciences building tops out  » 

THE finishing touches are being made to Birmingham City University’s new £41m Health Sciences and Education building.

Space for pioneering research projects at Notts campus

Space for pioneering research projects at Notts campus  » 

THE £5.4M RAD (Research Acceleration Demonstration) building on University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus is underway.

Housing scheme to fund modernisation of academic facilities

Housing scheme to fund modernisation of academic facilities  » 

A MASTERPLAN being developed for St John’s School of Mission in Bramcote, Nottingham, will enable the college to develop its training programmes for students preparing for a range of Christian ministries within and beyond the church.

Other news

HEFCE funding set at £3.5 billion

HEFCE funding set at £3.5 billion  » 

HEFCE will have a total of £3.5 billion to distribute for higher education in the 2017-18 financial year.

Catalyst Fund provides £7.5m to tackle barriers to student success  » 

SEVENTEEN projects, involving 64 higher education providers, will receive up to £500,000 each from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund over two years to address differences in student outcomes.

Rapid growth predicted for degree apprenticeships

Rapid growth predicted for degree apprenticeships  » 

A NEW report is predicting a 658% increase in degree apprentice entrants - from 640 in 2015-16 to 4,850 in 2017-18 (totalling 7,611 across the three years).

Rise in postgrad intake following introduction of loan scheme

Rise in postgrad intake following introduction of loan scheme  » 

THE NUMBER of students studying postgraduate courses in England has increased substantially in 2016-17, following the introduction of postgraduate masters’ loans.

Universities to help upgrade the nation’s infrastructure

Universities to help upgrade the nation’s infrastructure  » 

WITH inadequate infrastructure estimated to cost the UK £2m a day, academia is collaborating with industry and government to lead the development of new materials, techniques and novel technologies aimed at reducing the cost to the nation.