Expenditure on developing, maintaining, and operating the estate is typically the second largest cost faced by universities after staffing. HEFCW works with estates professionals to support them in delivering an estate that is consistent with their institution's strategic planning, and vision. The estate is an essential component of the student experience, as well as providing a resource for civic engagement through shared use of its sports, cultural, academic, and business facilities.
HEFCW expects universities to manage their estate in a sustainable manner in line with their estate strategy and maintenance plan which should follow the format set out in W11/21HE. Institutions are also required to maintain a carbon management plan (W13/38HE) which demonstrates their environmental performance and the actions they are taking to improve this. The Financial Management Code (W17/16HE) sets out details of our expectations around how estate management is undertaken within the university and the associated reporting responsibilities. The Memorandum of Assurance (W15/32HE) provides further detail particularly in relation to Exchequer Interest.
The Estate Record Statistics (ERS) provide a repository of data to enable institutions to assess their performance against their peers, and a way of identifying good practice. The data are also used by HEFCW and the other UK funding bodies to inform our understanding of the sector. HEFCW continues to work with HESA the sector and the other UK funding bodies to further develop and improve this important resource.
Effective space management is a key tool in reducing cost and improving efficiency. It also has an important contribution to make in reducing carbon emissions. Effective space management should identify performance, inform capital programmes and encourage creative thinking around multiple use accommodation and shared space. The Space Management Group has developed a number of tools that support a detailed analysis of space utilisation and facilitate benchmarking.
The need to improve environmental sustainability and reduce carbon emissions is fundamental to effective management of the estate. Circular W08/07HE sets our expectations for institutions to develop and maintain externally verified environmental management systems. HEFCW expects institutions to actively seek opportunities to reduce carbon emissions through the effective management and development of the estate. HEFCW will monitor this and report progress through the estate management statistics.