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It has been a privilege to represent the interests of my colleagues this past year as chair of the association. When I began my role in April 2020, the UK had already entered its first lockdown and the sector was in full blown response to the pandemic. It would be an understatement to say these past 12 months have been turbulent and yet the support, camaraderie and friendship offered by AUDE and its network never wavered. I would dare to say the value for AUDE members has been realised this past year like no other. It has added to my personal enthusiasm for the role and I’m thrilled to have another year as chair ahead.
It has been a privilege to represent the interests of my colleagues this past year as chair of the association. When I began my role in April 2020, the UK had already entered its first lockdown and the sector was in full blown response to the pandemic. It would be an understatement to say these past 12 months have been turbulent and yet the support, camaraderie and friendship offered by AUDE and its network never wavered. I would dare to say the value for AUDE members has been realised this past year like no other. It has added to my personal enthusiasm for the role and I’m thrilled to have another year as chair ahead. We find ourselves continuing to operate in an uncertain political environment, grappling with the impact of Brexit and working hard to meet our ambitious net zero goals. Rising quickly up the list of priorities is our approach to agile working and how our smart objectives can be adopted in a post-Covid learning, teaching, research and working environment. More than ever it’s important that we are one voice and represent the needs of members through government liaison and policy consultation. AUDE have lead a successful campaign to raise the profile of the EMR data return with VC’s and sector bodies proving more than ever the relevance for this key benchmarking exercise and flagship report. Members are the lifeblood of the association. We have seen individual registrations increase by 886 to 2376, representing 185 institutions and built close, meaningful relationships with carefully selected business partners. Our new branding and recently formed special interest groups for small institutions and facilities management colleagues ensure we are actively listening to member needs. The next 12 months will see the continued focus on sustainability, a new space management website showcasing tools and resources developed with sector experts, the first capital cost database annual report and a new work shadowing programme developed specifically by, and for, AUDE members. Research and insight is a priority for the association and thanks to our business partner Willmott Dixon and strong relationship with HEDQF we are part of an exciting, joint, three year research programme into the influence the HE built environment has on student outcomes. I would like to sincerely thank all of the members and in particular the executive and the AUDE team for their support during the year and I look forward to the association building on the success of 2020/2021 in the future.
AUDE officially launched it's first regional meeting to include all Irish institutions from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at the beginning of 2020. With an inaugural meeting held at Trinity College Dublin followed by regular virtual meetings, this active group are utilising all the AUDE network has to offer.
The fourth AUDE Big Conversation event took place on 7th February 2020 at the University of Hull. The event welcome over 130 AUDE members, AUDE business partners and corporate attendees.
ENGIE were the first business partner to join AUDE in 2020. They are the world’s number-one independent power producer and as a low-carbon energy and services group. With the climate emergency the vital challenge of our time, ENGIE provide timely and expert contribution to AUDE members.
In response to the developing situation with Coivd 19 and the impact it was having within the sector, AUDE launched a set of resources for members. They include templates and lnks to resources to a wide range of shared resources to assist members in developing their response to the Coronavirus risk.
The Association appointed it's new chair in April 2020; Stephen Wells, Director of Estates, Facilities and Commercial Services, University of Surrey. On his appointment Stephen told us: “The AUDE association works really hard for its members. There are lots of challenges that face us but within the AUDE family we work together to understand how we influence the student experience and make students feel that the physical estate is part of their academic experience. At this extraordinarily challenging time the peer support to be found within AUDE is simply invaluable and I look forward to working with colleagues on the estates and sector challenges we face, together.”
To ensure that the 2020 award winners were celebrated in the absence of a gala dinner, AUDE worked with sponsors Hoare Lea and produced a virtual awards video to honour and celebrate last year’s awards winners. Congratulations to all the 2020 award winners and highly commended and a huge thank you to all who entered last year’s awards.
AUDE welcomes AssetWorks to it's business partner programme mid way through 2020. Their specialist estates and facilities management software and relationships with institutions outside of the UK gives our members a valuable international perspective to bring to discussions. AssetWorks has helped universities improve the way that their estate, facilities, and services enhance the student, staff, and visitor experience - while reducing their carbon footprint – for 30 years. Today, hundreds of educational institutions, including The University of Leicester, benefit from AssetWorks software products.
In May 2020 AUDE worked with UUK to survey UK universities on their experiences to that point of the Covid-19 virus, and the effect the coronavirus had had on the estates team, maintenance and capital spending, their ability to achieve statutory compliance, and their emerging best estimates of the changes that would be needed in future planning. In July 2020 we re-surveyed the AUDE membership for an updated view on these issues. In May, 60% had paused or cancelled capital development projects. In July this figure has risen to 65%. In May, 60% had furloughed some staff, which again has risen to 65% by July. Yet while in May 82% had stopped all maintenance work that wasn’t connected with statutory compliance, the equivalent figure in July has dropped to 54%, suggesting that vital maintenance has resumed to some extent after the initial lockdown.
AUDE's Higher Education Estates Management Report 2020 was launched in the autumn. Our annual estates management report (EMR) work underpins the strategic decisions made in estates teams in universities across the country. It represents the hard facts and accurate data for big choices in estates management and future investment. By bench marking institutions against others, of similar size, or similar teaching/research bias, the report makes it clear that the performance of the overall university estate is as strong as it has ever been, and we should recognise and acknowledge the immense efforts of AUDE member teams across the country in delivering that.
AUDE's Thought Leadership Virtual Event - COVID-19 and the Future of the University Estate was held virtually over a two week period with all sessions available on demand.
Launched in November 2020, this special interest group of small, (predominantly teaching focused) institutions represents the views of a unique cohort of members. After much interest, the group has quickly established it's remit and welcomed chair Phil Baker, Deputy Director of Estates (Institute of Cancer Research), to guide their activities during 2021.
The second annual Sustainability Leadership Scorecard Report launched in December 2020 and summarised data submitted by 76 institutions in the UK. Institutions who have used the tool were clearly able to point to concrete gains from use of the tool, whether in terms of benchmarking to similar universities, gap analysis, or better high-level reporting of sustainability information.
AUDE were very pleased to welcome Browne Jacobson to the ranks of AUDE business partners who very quickly delivered a series of well received webinars to members.
AUDE announced details of several projects that will address space management challenges in the sector in March 2021. Each activity has been designed to make all space management roles as easy as possible, and to enhance the sector. They will be delivered in partnership with sector providers to give true value and insight to members. Many outputs will be free to members and some will have a reduced cost, with launches throughout 2021.
The Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) is the representative body for higher education (HE) estates and facilities staff. Its members are the directors of estates and facilities from 185 institutions in the UK, ten oversees institutions and alternative providers and seven carefully selected business partners. In total, we have over 2000 individual members from across these sectors.
AUDE works closely with other sector representatives, charitable, and regulatory organisations for the benefit of its members. It is run under the umbrella organisation Professional HE Services Ltd (PHES). PHES is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and is owned entirely by its member HE institutions.
View organisational structure
AUDE's statement of accounts for the year ending 31 July 2020.
View full set of accounts
AUDE would like to acknowledge and thank all those who have given their time and expertise to participate in and support the activities of the association. Special thanks goes to the chair, Stephen Wells and members of the executive committee for their hard work and dedication in bringing the AUDE aims and activities to life. We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to our business partners, event sponsors and exhibitors for supporting our work.
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