An institution's attractiveness to students and staff, its operational efficiency and its longer-term sustainability are all influenced by the quality and capacity of its physical estate and related infrastructure.
Fundamental decisions about an instittution's physical estate frequently involve major strategic decisions, and require significant amounts of capital expenditure. As the governing body is responsible for 'all matters of fundamental concern' it is generally involved in making these decisions.
The detailed work on estate matters may, in some institutions, be undertaken by a board committee. This might be an Estates or Planning and Resources committee, or alternatively, the Finance and Resources or Finance and General Purposes committee. Where such committees exist, they will work with delegated authority, and report and make recommendations to the governing body.
On occassions the governing body may decide to set up a project group to oversee the strategic development of the institution's estate, including, for example, in cases where a new campus is being proposed.
For further information about estates see Governors' briefing note No. 19: Estates
The Getting to Grips Guide, 'Estates and Infrastructure', offers governors with additional information: Estates
The Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) has published Estates Strategy Good Practice Guidance 2013. This offers a 'simplified good practice guide' to the development of an estates strategy.
For institutions based in England, the Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) has a section on their website titled 'Estates and physical infrastructure'.
For institutions based in Wales, the Higher Education Council for Wales (HEFCW) has published 'Estates strategy guidance'.
The Higher Education Statistical Agency collates information submitted in their annual Estates Management Statistics (EMS) return by institutions. The information is used by HESA to publish the annual Estates Management Record for Hgher Education Providers. This includes comparative data allowing institutions to make peer comparisons and undertake benchmarking.
AUDE produces an annual HE Estates Statistical Report, which includes trend data.
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