New chief

AUDE appoints new Executive Officer

Jane White from Huddersfield, has taken up the role of Executive Officer at AUDE (the Association of University Directors of Estates) following four years as Head of Research and Information Services at IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health).

With 10 years’ experience managing estates at Leicestershire County Council, Jane has the perfect level of experience needed to deliver the AUDE mission. Jane's passion for facilities will be fully utilised when providing AUDE expert opinion and advice on the planning, development and operation of university estates to the members. 

In her new position, Jane will organise the annual AUDE conference and help deliver a wide range of support to university directors of estates. These include developing and maintaining a strategic plan in order to ensure a professional, innovative, efficient and effective university estates and facilities sector.

Jane White, AUDE Executive Officer commented: "I am absolutely thrilled to be starting my new role at AUDE. I'm looking forward to utilising my career to date in Facilities Management, coupled with my experience in research and development, to excel as the AUDE Executive Officer." 

Sue Holmes, Association of University Directors of Estates and ‎Director Of Estates and Facilities Management at Oxford Brookes University, commented: "We're delighted to be welcoming Jane on board. Her extensive Facilities Management experience will be invaluable over the coming months and years.

With the increasing demand for high quality university facilities, brought on by the increase in tuition fees, it is more important than ever to ensure AUDE provides the highest level of support for university directors of estates."

The university sector has faced many challenges over the past year and continues to face an ever more competitive market. The recent AUDE ‘Higher Education Estates Statistics Report 2015’, details the challenges and impacts of the estates of the higher education sector. The sector has a total income of £28 billion (an increase of £1 billion from last year’s report), which is the equivalent to the annual spend of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and eight billion more than the annual Government spend for Northern Ireland.

The work AUDE does is especially important when taking into this ever changing Higher Education landscape. Tuition fees have trebled and students are now expecting more and better value from their university experience. There is also greater competition and flat lining income for Estate Directors to take into account. In this environment, AUDE’s Executive Officer plays a critical role in organising, promoting and showcasing industry best practice especially around driving efficiency, increasing commercial income and saving money whilst improving services.

University facilities are so much more than just a university’s buildings. Estates are one of the university’s largest assets – from strategic management, capital planning, facilities services such as cleaning, security and maintenance services through to space planning and management, legislative compliance, car parking, traffic management and asset management, university facilities really do play a big role in all aspects of a student’s time at university.

At present the pool of available students is decreasing, and will continue to decline for a further six years before the number of 18 year olds starts to rise again. Institutions are now able to set their own size and recruitment objectives and attracting UK and overseas students will continue to be an important part of some institutions’ strategies.

The student experience is inextricably linked to the quality and effectiveness of the estate. Protecting capital spend and persuading governing bodies to continue to invest, is going to require careful thought and debate so that inward investment continues and the estate remains on the agenda for all nationwide institutions.

In April 2016, AUDE will be hosting its annual conference, bringing together Directors of Estates and Facilities from universities across the UK todiscuss the main issues facing the sector in Higher Education. In line with its aims of supporting members to run university estates so that they are professional, innovative, efficient and effective; the AUDE conference provides an opportunity for members to come together and share best practice through networking opportunities and a stellar line-up of speakers.

As AUDE Executive Officer, organising the yearly event will be one of Jane’s key focuses, alongside supporting university directors of estates in developing and maintaining strategic plans. This year, the University of Exeter will host the conference Monday 4 to Wednesday 6 April.

A key highlight of the conference includes finding out the AUDE award winners. The Awards showcase sector achievements and allow everyone to learn from knowledge of the very best practice taking place in Higher Education institutions today.



To find out more about AUDE and the university estates and facilities sector, visit