A New Future

HEDQF was established around twenty years ago as an initiative of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in order to promote a stronger understanding of issues affecting its clients and to promote good design in a fast-changing sector with high public visibility and impact. In 2014 the Forum decided, with the encouragement of the RIBA, to become independent, though with strong support for particular projects and initiatives. 


A group of engaged university clients and interested companies committed themselves to become Founder Members in order to provide start-up funding and practical assistance to establish the new organization. These are acknowledged on our membership page and HEDQF is very grateful for their continued support.


HEDQF has recently established itself as a Charitable Company, number 1166552. The object of HEDQF is to advance higher education through high-quality design and planning of buildings and facilities.


HEDQF has a strong relationship with the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) and has organised exhibitions, films and workshops at conferences, often with accompanying booklets (see the Resources section of this website.


As well as organising site visits, HEDQF has held a number of successful debates including the most recent at Oxford Brookes University on Designing Contemporary Buildings in Historic Settings, in partnership with Design Engine.


HEDQF has recently published a new book – Future Campus, Design Quality in Higher Education – edited by Ian Taylor (of Feilden Clegg Bradley) and published by the RIBA. The book was launched at the 2016 HEDQF Annual Conference, at the University of the Arts in London on 12 July 2016.


All members are encouraged to play an active role in the Forum and to suggest and organise themes for visits, debates and research.



The new organisation was registered as a limited company in 2015 (number 09600079) and an application for charitable status was approved by the Charity Commission (number 1166552). The new organisation is governed by a Board of Trustees, with a balance from higher education and the design/built environment  professions. 


Officers are: 


Chair: Julian S Robinson – London School of Economics & Political Science

Deputy Chairs: Trevor Wills -  Plymouth University, and Ian Goodfellow - Penoyre and Prasad.

Company Secretary: Steven Jenkins - Arcadis

Treasurer: Simon Fraser - Fraser Brown MacKenna

Membership Secretary: Tom Alexander – Aukett Swanke


Ian Caldwell from King’s College is Chair of the Events and Conference Committee and Caroline Paradise of Atkins is Chair of the Research Committee


Proposed Future Activities

Future initiatives are planned to build on successful activities of the past. HEDQF will strengthen its partnership with the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) and will continue with its popular programme of building reference visits, workshops and debates. Our annual conference goes from strength to strength. The 2017 Conference themed on the topic of Universities Supporting Industry, Enterprise and Innovation’ was held at the University of Sheffield in July and our fourth Annual Conference will be held in London in Summer 2018.


Research themes are being developed and there is an appetite for research on: learning environments of the future, adaptability and re-use, innovation (looking forward) and lessons to be learnt (looking back) from projects in terms of student satisfaction, research and teaching outcomes and operational success over time, also perhaps looking at relevant parallels in other sectors such as the Pharma Industry and high technology companies.

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