Higher education – opportunity or challenge ?

Wednesday 8th October, 2014 | 8am-9.30am

Bennetts Associates
1 Rawstorne Place
London EC1V 7NL

The UK’s leading universities have more than £9bn to invest in new research facilities, accommodation and IT infrastructure during the next three years – a sign of the growing importance of education to the British economy.

This spending spree by the elite Russell Group of universities is partly to prevent universities sliding down global rankings to be overtaken by countries such as South Korea and China.

But higher education is also seen as a way of generating jobs and helping the local economy.  Yet the architecture it produces is often disappointing . Why is this, and how can practices persuade clients to be bolder ?

Julian Robinson, director of estates at the LSE who commissioned the Stirling-shortlisted Saw Swee Hock Student Centre,  believes universities owe it to their staff and students to ensure that their estates’ strategies are inspirational.



Julian is Director of Estates at the London School of Economics, responsible for the delivery of all capital development and facilities and property management at the School.
He was formerly Project Director at Queen Mary University of London. Projects delivered include a new medical school and students’ village at Queen Mary, the New Academic Building and the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, both at the LSE. The latter, by O' Donnell & Tuomey is shortlisted for the 2014 Stirling Prize.
The LSE was named AJ100 Client of the Year 2014 presented to the client who made the greatest contribution to UK Architecture.

Holding post graduate qualifications in Town Planning and Surveying, most of his working life has been spent as a client side project manager responsible for the briefing, design and procurement of capital projects. He was a CABE Enabler, is Deputy Chair of the Higher Education Design Quality Forum (HEDQF), Chair of Governors at an east London primary school and a Board Director and Vice Chair of the Northbank Business Improvement District.