About AUDE


The Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) promotes excellence in the strategic planning, management, operation and development of Higher Education estates and facilities.  AUDE offers membership to publicly funded UK bodies whose primary remit is higher education teaching and/or research.  There are no membership categories for commercial bodies. AUDE is a not-for-profit organisation.  Any funds generated through the activities of the Association are used to fulfil its objectives and mission. 

Download the AUDE Constitution (updated April 2018).
Download AUDE's business plan 2017-2020 (members only)

Watch our video on current and upcoming projects and partnership work


AUDE’s activities include:

  • providing opportunities for discussion, consultation, the exchange of knowledge and good practice
  • helping members share expertise and take action to address common concerns
  • promoting and enhancing professional competence
  • representing member interests
  • building partnerships with related organisations regionally, nationally and internationally.


  • To promote excellence in the strategic planning and management, administration, operation and development of the University Estate and Facilities
  • To optimise solutions to common problems and concerns by disseminating and harnessing the particular expertise, experience and knowledge of Members for mutual benefit
  • To further AUDE objectives by meetings, seminars, conferences, lectures, discussions and other activities
  • To provide forums for discussion, consultation and exchange
  • To influence opinion formers and decision-makers on estates issues
  • To consider and advise on matters referred by Universities UK, the Higher Education Funding Councils and other outside bodies and individuals
  • To consult with the professional institutions and other bodies on estate matters and to work in partnership with related organisations regionally, nationally and internationally
  • To maintain and promote professional competence and ethical standards
  • To promote opportunities for development and training for the benefit of Members and their respective staff
  • To establish, develop, maintain and promote systems for the dissemination of information relating to estate matters
  • To promote the reputation and activities of the Association and its members regionally, nationally and internationally.

Areas of responsibility

AUDE's members are generally represented by the most senior member of staff responsible for managing, planning, constructing and maintaining all types of accommodation for Higher Education Institutions. Though arrangements vary, most Directors of Estates are also involved in managing a wider range of services including cleaning, security, grounds maintenance, space planning and management, car parking and traffic and, in some institutions, additional services such as catering, conference and sports facilities, insurance, furniture and equipment and printing.

Structure of AUDE

  • All University UK institutions are eligible for full membership of AUDE
  • GuildHE institutions can join as Associate members
  • Other higher education institutions may be eligible for membership at the discretion of the AUDE Executive
  • Member insitutions are represented by the Director of Estates, or equivalent
  • The Association has an Executive committee; Regional groups and functional groups
  • The Executive committee meets four times a year
  • Each Region within AUDE elects a representative who becomes a member of the Executive Committee
  • From the members of the Executive Committee a Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are elected
  • The Conference Steering Group arranges an Annual Conference
  • The training reps group identifies and provides for the training needs of AUDE members and their staff
  • Representatives of AUDE sit on various bodies associated with their area of activity, for example the Joint Contracts Tribunal, and the UUK Rating Group
  • AUDE has international links, in particular with its equivalent organisation in the USA, APPA; the Australasian Association, TEFMA; The Southern African Association, HEFMA and with colleagues in European universities.

There is also an organisation known as the Energy Consortium (formerly CHEEP, Consortium for Higher Education Energy Purchasing) which was established by AUDE to assist universities in procurement of energy contracts. The Energy Consortium is now an independent body.

Member Benefits

AUDE is an institutional membership Association.  Membership of AUDE provides the opportunity to:

  • formulate and influence national policy (e.g. EMS, sector exemptions from HMO licensing fee)
  • network with Estates and Facilities Management professionals
  • attend the AUDE annual conference
  • join the private AUDE-GENERAL e-mail discussion list
  • participate in regional meetings and activities
  • access training events devised specifically to meet members needs
  • build national and international links
  • contribute to consultations and initiatives
  • obtain access to guidance and reports produced for Members.

History of AUDE

The first Conference of University Building Officers was held, jointly with the Finance Officers, in 1959. From 1960 onwards an annual independent conference has been organised. In 1987 the Building Officers steering committee established an Executive and in 1990 the organisation changed its name to the Association of Building Officers of the United Kingdom.

Following the conferring of University status on Polytechnics in 1992 the Association of Building Officers and the Polytechnic Building Officers Group joined to form the Association of University Directors of Estates.


AUDE hold an Annual General Meeting at the conference, and minutes can be downloaded below (members only):                       

9 April 2018

10 April 2017

4 April 2016

30 March 2015

14 April 2014

25 March 2013

2 April 2012

Other sector associations

We also try to work with other sector associations as much as we can. We have compiled a list of all the associations we are aware of in HE. If you know of anymore, please let us know.

There are also lots of acronyms in the sector, so we have compiled a useful list.

AUDE Discussion Board







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