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higher education estates magazine (hee)

hee magazine digital edition - September/October 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

One-tenth of all property investment is in student accommodation, says JLL  » 

Student accommodation will take £1 of every £10 invested in commercial property this year, according to JLL. The property consultancy’s research indicates that £1.9bn has been invested in the student housing market so far this year, £200m more than the previous year.

Glasgow College makes Stirling Prize shortlist again

Glasgow College makes Stirling Prize shortlist again  » 

City of Glasgow College’s City campus has been shortlisted for architecture’s highest accolade, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling prize 2017.

Universities commit to upholding sustainability targets

Universities commit to upholding sustainability targets  » 

The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) has launched a global initiative to embed the sustainable development goals (SDGs) across post-16 education. Announced at the World Congress on Environmental Education (WEEC) held recently in Vancouver, The SDG Accord is the university and college sectors collective response to the SDGs established by the United Nations.

Developers’ cash flow boosted by VAT ruling on student accommodation

Developers’ cash flow boosted by VAT ruling on student accommodation  » 

HMRC’s VAT policy on new build student accommodation has been successfully challenged in a case taken to the Tax Tribunal by Glyn Edwards, VAT Director at MHA MacIntyre Hudson.

Other news

£177m for nine university and business research projects

£177m for nine university and business research projects  » 

NINE research projects led by UK universities have been awarded funding totalling £177m by HEFCE, in the latest investments through the UK Research Investment Partnership Fund.

Nearly half of students see themselves as customers

Nearly half of students see themselves as customers  » 

NEARLY a half of students (47%) now see themselves as customers of their university, according to a new ComRes survey for Universities UK.

Office for Students’ first ceo appointed  » 

NICOLA Dandridge has been confirmed as the first chief executive of the Office for Students (OfS).

Additional £40m in support of the Industrial Strategy

Additional £40m in support of the Industrial Strategy  » 

THE Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) is to receive an additional £40m per annum from 2017-18, to boost universities’ capacity to collaborate with businesses, commercialise their research and help to deliver the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

HE sector must be heard during Brexit negotiations

HE sector must be heard during Brexit negotiations  » 

WITH Brexit underway, university leaders believe it is critical for the sector to make itself heard and help shape negotiations and future policy.

The Oculus: a new focal point for the University of Warwick

The Oculus: a new focal point for the University of Warwick  » 

A TEACHING centre named The Oculus which features an impressive 18m tall glazed frontage beneath a dramatic curved laminated timber roof provides a new visual focal point for the University of Warwick.

£96m Centre for Engineering and Physical Sciences at Leeds

£96m Centre for Engineering and Physical Sciences at Leeds  » 

A DETAILED planning application has been submitted for a new £96m science building at the University of Leeds.

Science centre delivered as part of Lincoln’s £130m capital programme

Science centre delivered as part of Lincoln’s £130m capital programme  » 

THE Isaac Newton Building is the new £30m Science Teaching & Research Centre at the University of Lincoln.

Go-ahead for Newcastle’s ten-storey student apartment scheme

Go-ahead for Newcastle’s ten-storey student apartment scheme  » 

PLANNING permission has been awarded by Newcastle City Council for a new, ten-storey student accommodation development on St James’ Boulevard in the city centre.