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Addressing the most current and pressing subjects through our CPD-certified seminars.

We are now inviting submissions for next year’s seminar programme of the hee forum on 21/22 March 2019

The theme for the 2019 seminar programme is ‘investing in uncertain times’.

Potential topics include;

Brexit and the impact on universities; the ramifications for international students, research, funding and construction

Best use of space on an evolving campus 

University estates – can we still afford the best design?

Facilities that support the mental health of staff & students

How good design supports successful student communities

How can HE boost international collaboration?

How to economise and get the most from capital budgets

Driving energy efficiency

Doing more, more quickly – accelerating buildings through offsite & modular build

What are the opportunities for mixed use on tomorrow’s campus?

The above ideas are not exclusive so we’d also welcome your suggestions on any subjects affecting the design, build and management of higher education estates. 

Please email a brief outline of your ideas to

Last year's speakers

Rory Bergin

Offsite prefabrication for education estates.
Rory Bergin, HTA Design LLP – Partner, Sustainable Futures.
Prefabrication of new build student accommodation and other buildings can offer substantial benefits to education clients in terms of finished quality, certainty of delivery, and speed. Rory will share some projects that have been completed quickly without compromising design and quality standards.

Caroline Paradise

The economic case for human-centred design.
Caroline Paradise, Atkins –  Design Director, Infrastrucutre.
There is growing commercial awareness that the long-term success and sustainability of any investment in the built environment is dependent upon its ability to satisfy human needs, particularly our sense of wellbeing. Philip will explore the economic case for investment in the quality of the environment drawing on recent research identifying the key areas that need to be addressed, the costs associated with this investment and the ‘payback’ of improved performance and productivity.

Nick Cullen

Designing tomorrow’s buildings – why we need to think differently.
Nick Cullen, Hoare Lea – Head of Research & Development.
Building standardisation can facilitate improved system performance and enable greater benefit from offsite manufacturing to improve construction efficiencies. However, standardised and offsite manufactured solutions need to be considered from the outset of projects. This requires more intensive and detailed design work earlier in a project which challenges both the design team and client to think differently requiring designers to solve problems at the outset.

Aaron Taylor

Innovative learning spaces – taking the best from workplace design.
Aaron Taylor, Stantec – Principal & Sector Lead.
As the design of corporate workplaces are adapting to the changing ways that we work, University Campus buildings are embracing many of these models in the creation of spaces that are increasingly multi-purpose. The blurring of the lines between “Earning and Learning Environments” offers Universities the opportunity to create spaces that address the needs and aspirations of today’s students by learning from the design innovation being delivered within international commercial workplace environments.

Health and wellbeing at Lancaster University
Vicki Mathews and Jason Homan, Development Manager – Lancaster University.
Highlighting the importance of a community based living/working experience, for the health and wellbeing on the campus. Looking at initiatives which have enhanced the positive social experience in residential accommodation. One of the defining features of Lancaster University is the fact that all academic disciplines contribute to health innovation. A pioneering new development – The Health Innovation Campus is being developed which will look to bring together innovators, academics, entrepreneurs, businesses, local government, citizens and health care providers. The aim being to create a world class centre of excellence for innovation and research in population health.

Designing Out The Challenges
Osama Khan Southampton Solent University and Ian Pratt from Scott Brownrigg
How can design address the challenges currently faced by the university community? Using the Spark building at Southampton Solent University as a case study the presentations explores how both a collaborative design process and bold design solution met these challenges. The presentation will discuss revolutionising the use of space, designing spaces that promote collaborative working and defining a new education experience that exceeds student expectations and creates a campus landmark.

The University of Northampton Waterside Campus – ‘Rethinking a University’ Synopsis
Murdoch Cameron, Director, MCW Architects and Jane Bunce, Academic Project Manager/Director of Student and Academic Services – Northampton University
The University of Northampton will open its new £330m Waterside Campus in September 2018 that will see the consolidation of all academic accommodation on a 55-acre, brownfield, waterfront site that will help drive urban regeneration in the town centre. The existing two campuses will eventually be closed. The presentation will discuss creating a student centric campus, spatial efficiency – moving from a disparate model of 65 separate buildings to just three – and making ‘A place – in the town, for the town, with the town’. It will also discuss some of the challenges of a changing political and sector landscape that were unknown at the outset. The talk will be delivered by Murdoch Cameron, Director at MCW Architects, and Jane Bunce, Director of Student and Academic Services at the University.

What facilities do students want and are we meeting their needs
Paul Holt, Assistant Director – Estates Development, Manchester Metropolitan University
An examination of our design approach, attempting to understand the expectations through the lens of a student. He invites the audience to reflect on their approach in meeting the needs of our most important customer.

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