CGHE Webinar 210

Stratified Space: Compromises and Commitments in University Estates

Date: Tuesday, 25 May 2021 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinar, registration required
Speaker(s):
  • Zachery D. Spire, UCL

Event Materials

This event is now archived and we are pleased to provide the following event media and assets, along with the original event overview.

This presentation will explore the present place of university estates. For decades, assertions have been made about the influence and importance of estates and facilities for universities. Key themes and issues have focused on the physical and financial impacts of university estates as physical, social and reputational capital. Surprisingly, given the financial, social and personal impacts related to university estates, little empirical research and evidence has been offered on the connections between the estate and teaching, learning and research. While the relationship of estates to university operations, management, policy, planning and practice is implied, this presentation makes a case that now as ever, more work is needed to understand how estates influence university life.

Drawing on existing literature and research and insights from ongoing studies into university estates in the UK, this presentation will highlight three key points. First, the paucity of empirical research on university estates in the United Kingdom. Second, we will review the impacts and implications of Covid-19 which has sharply influenced trends in international student demand for UK post-compulsory education, student mobility, student numbers and advancements in educational technologies for university estates across the United Kingdom. Third, we will engage with the position, threats and opportunities for university estates now and into the near (post-Covid 19) future.

The time is right to review and circle back to study of university estates. Evidence-based decision making, design and delivery of university estate space is urgently needed. Post Covid-19, staff and students are asking how the university estate can support a range of models and modes of university activities (teaching, learning, research). Moreover, study into the impacts of university estates on student, staff and the wider public wellbeing and health is gaining momentum. Now is a perfect time to discuss, challenge and develop an evidence base to inform the present and near term development and practice of university estates.

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