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Space Utilisation Benchmarking

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Effective use of space is vital for many HE providers. Reasons vary but include growth plans, cost pressures, changing learning and teaching requirements, or to make innovative use of technology.

One of our clients asked us to benchmark space management across several institutions. Our client was particularly interested in the management of arts and creative spaces as well as general questions about space utilisation. We asked participants about:

systems and processes used to derive projected and actual space usage data;

how targets for space use are calculated; and the level of detail:e.g. space per student per course;

the extent of shared or bookable creative spaces for art and design related subjects; how such spaces are managed; and any specific targets for these spaces;

charges to departments/schools for ‘no shows’;

the length of a normal day used to routinely schedule timetabled activity; and

how timetabling is used to drive efficient and effective space use.

Nine institutions participated. Size (from small and specialist up to large multi-faculty), balance of teaching/research focus, and scale and mixture of arts and creative activity varied across the participants. We are grateful to everyone who responded. Despite the variation in providers that we spoke to, there was a high degree of commonality in the challenges faced.

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