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Press Release - 27 March 2007

Building a sustainable future for higher education

The people who design and build universities will meet in Bath next week to discuss the challenge of developing environmentally sustainable campuses within tight higher education budgets. The conference will be hosted by the University of Bath from 2-4 April.

The Association of University Directors of Estates’ (AUDE) international conference will incorporate: high profile speakers, the environmental Green Gown Awards, and the regional launch of an exhibition celebrating design excellence in higher education. It will be opened by the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Glynis Breakwell.

The awards recognise the work done to achieve sustainable higher and further education buildings, with particular emphasis on environmental improvement. They will be presented by Sara Parkin OBE, founder of the British sustainable development charity, Forum for the Future and Professor Peter James, Co-Director of Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement (HEEPI).

Ms Parkin will also speak on the future of the higher education sector, and the choices and opportunities created by the ‘green shift’ to a low carbon economy.

She said: “The evidence of the consequences of unsustainable development is now so overwhelming that the sector will be expected to deliver radical chance in a relatively short time frame.”

Professor Drummond Bone, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, will discuss the latest Government Comprehensive Spending Review, focussing on the amount of money allocated for teaching infrastructure, and universities’ corporate social responsibility.

Patrick Finch, Director of Estates at the University of Bath, said: “We are pleased to be hosting the 2007 AUDE conference at Bath, with its themes of regeneration and sustainability it reflects the University’s commitment to lessening the environmental impact of our campus.

“For example, our newest building project, which is accommodation for 350 students, is aiming for an eco homes 'excellent' rating. While that can impact on the initial capital cost, it’s a crucial investment in the future.”

The conference will also mark the regional launch of Distinction by Design, an exhibition showcasing the quality and diversity of architecture in the UK higher education sector. The exhibition includes the Sports Training Village, the University of Bath’s award winning, world-class sports facilities. It opens on the first day of the conference at Bath and will then travel around venues across the UK.

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: