University design expert reacts to Russell Group’s £9bn predicted spend / by Broadway Malyan


The UK’s 24 large research-intensive universities which make up the ‘Russell Group’ are to spend £9 billion on capital projects over five years – comparable to the UK’s spend on hosting the Olympics – according to a report today by consultants BiGGAR Economics.

The report says that for the universities to maintain their competitive position in research, international student and staff recruitment and rankings, ‘it is essential that Russell Group universities continues to invest in high-quality facilities that will deliver the kind of student experience and research environment expected of world-class universities’.

Tim Brown, Director of Architecture at global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan – which has designed projects for a number of universities including Russell Group members such as the University of Leeds – said:

“Our own experience of working with universities is that institutions are having to compete harder when it comes to attracting the best students and research staff.

“The introduction of tuition fees has also raised students’ expectations of the university experience. Students are increasingly discerning about what is on offer – they expect world-class teaching and research facilities and libraries, as well as high-quality accommodation.

“Our direct experience is that the quality of teaching and research facilities is a major factor in the success of a university – reinforcing a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

“New facilities funded by future investments should provide students and staff with a contemporary learning environment and experience through 24-hour hubs which combine learning and teaching, enable social interaction between students and teachers and foster collaboration and innovation.”

Pictured – The western campus archive building at Leeds University designed by Broadway Malyan

Distinguished by our global reach with 16 studios across world centres, unrivalled diversity with 500+ design experts and distinctive client focus with over 75% income from repeat business, Broadway Malyan creates world-class and fully-integrated cities, places and buildings to unlock lasting value and deliver a ‘return on design’.

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