Stratified Space: Compromises and Commitments in University Estates

13th May 2021 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Webinar

Speaker: Zachery D. Spire, UCL

Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

Audience: Public

This presentation will explore the importance of the estate to universities. For decades, assertions have been made about the influence and importance of estates and facilities for the physical, social and reputational capitals of universities across the United Kingdom. Even so, little empirical research and evidence has been offered to support these assertions and the relationship of estates to university operations, management, policy, planning and practice.

Drawing on existing literature and research from the United Kingdom, this presentation will address the paucity of research and expore the position, threats and opportunities for university estates now and into the near future. A brief review of current issues and themes relating to university estates will ground the discussion. After, we will review the impacts and implications of events such as Covid-19 and trends in international student demand for post-compulsory education, student mobility, student numbers and advancements in educational technologies for university estates across the United Kingdom. The estate plays a number of critical roles in university education. From labs to cafes, libraries to lecture halls, the physical environment of universities is vital to teaching, learning and research. Estates and facilities influence institutional policies, planning and practice across stakeholder groups.

This presentation will explore how the estate acts as a physical and social anchor for universities. From policy to planning, practice to provision; the estate is as vital as ever to the operations and management of universities throughout the United Kingdom. While concepts such as space, place and displacement feature in literature and research on the drivers, debates and tensions influenced by estates and facilities continue to feature in access, participation, recruitment and retention, feedback and representation for facilities based university education in the United Kingdom. This presentation will look at how recent trends, issues and themes hold threats, opportunities and obligations for the present and near future of university estates throughout the United Kingdom (and beyond).

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).