SOAS - Head of Space and Workplace

Head of Space and Workplace Candidate Information Pack

About Us

SOAS University of London is the leading Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

SOAS is a remarkable institution. With our vast repository of knowledge and expertise on our specialist regions, we are uniquely placed to inform and shape current thinking about the economic, political, cultural, security and religious challenges of our world. Our programmes are taught by respected academics engaged in fieldwork and research which influences government policy and the lives of individuals across the globe. SOAS scholars grapple with the pressing issues confronting two-thirds of humankind today: democracy, development, economy, finance, public and corporate policy, human rights, migration, identity, legal systems, poverty, religion, and social change. · 5,200 undergraduate and postgraduate students studying on campus · 3,000+ students registered on distance and online programmes · 300+ academics provide the largest concentration of specialist staff engaged in the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East · 350+ undergraduate degree combinations · 115 postgraduate programmes · 1.5 million items in the SOAS Library · 55:45 ratio of undergraduates to postgraduates · 24% mature students · 90% satisfaction with teaching, the highest in London SOAS University of London at a glance:

· 40% of students spend a year abroad as part of their degree · 11.3:1, our student-staff ratio is one of the best in the UK

For a relatively small higher education institution, SOAS is fortunate to have outstanding facilities, both scholarly and practical.

· The Brunei Gallery, opened in 1995, provides a 40-room conference venue at a convenient, central London location. These facilities are run by the SOAS Conference Office. · The SOAS Library - recognised as a collection of national importance - houses over 1.5 million items in more than 400 languages. It has significant archival holdings and a growing network of electronic resources. · SOAS has ranked in the top 5 universities nationally in terms of Library and IT expenditure per student. · There are eight Regional Centres that coordinate regional expertise and run programmes of seminars, workshops and conferences to provide up-to-date and in-depth knowledge.

Estates and Facilities

The Estates and Facilities Directorate is responsible for the delivery of the Estates and Infrastructure Strategy which covers the areas of major construction and refurbishment projects; facilities operation and space management, including timetabling and energy management.

The Directorate aims to ensure that the quality, functionality and operation of the estate and its associated infrastructure meets the needs of its users and supports the activities of the School.

Space Management

• To lead, develop and manage the University’s approach to space planning, allocation and management, by developing an internal professional and proactive strategic stakeholder service.

• To provide an analysis of SOAS University’s space needs, consulting widely with Faculties and Central Professional Services and make recommendations for the future size and configuration of the Estates to support the SOAS University’s strategic aims, focusing in particular on short and medium term solutions.

• Develop, implement, and maintain comprehensive space management information.

• Utilising the University’s Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) system and AUTOCAD software or similar product.

• Provide training on space coding, collection and effective space management.

Key Tasks


Workplace space and planning

• Develop strategic estates scenarios and plans for recommendation to the Director of Estates and the University considering academic, logistical, Master Plan, financial issues and political sensitivities.

• To make recommendations to the Executive Board/SOAS Board of Trustees on the use of space to the University based on the estates directorates core principles. The ability to articulate this message to senior colleagues so the information can be applied and understood in context. • To undertake proactive negotiations with users who have requested additional space, and develop options for meeting their space needs, bearing in mind the limitations and restrictions our property stock presents (listed status/shape and size). • To Review and implement a Space Management Policy, establishing KPI’s, performance tables and space norms. The policy will include desired gross to net ratios for new buildings and refurbishment projects and standards and protocols for the delivery of AUTOCAD plans from external consultants. The post-holder will be expected to manage annual space utilisation surveys. • To identify, analyse and report on any under-utilised spaces and make recommendations for improved space usage by performing surveys of space and analysing personnel data, based on the estate space strategy and core principles. Space Utilisation in the work place

Behavioural change in relation to space utilisation

• Help to foster culture change to introduce new “smart” working practices, where appropriate, to make the most effective use of work spaces, identifying any adjustments (physical or otherwise) in order that the working experience for staff is improved and not adversely affected.

• To actively seek out and encourage innovative solutions to space design and utilisation in order to create a modern, flexible and future-proof environment for students to maximise their potential.

• Through stakeholder engagement, ensure that academic pedagogical requirements are translated into Estates deliverables.

Reporting in relation to space

• Co-ordinate space data for annual report to Higher Education Statistic Agency (HESA).

• Develop corporate and estates space benchmarks and costs to provide appropriate University senior management reports and business plans on the estates strategy and space requirements.

Strategic Planning

• As required to contribute to the planning process with regard to minor works, capital projects and initiatives to support growth in teaching and research activity and the quality of the student experience.

• To ensure that space developments are aligned to the University’s strategic objectives and Estates Master plan.

• Support the Director of Estates with strategic longer term space planning based on the changing real estate needs at SOAS. Maximising the opportunities to develop a shared space strategy that reaches beyond the internal stakeholders at SOAS.

Team Work

Move/relocation management

• Working with colleagues in the property and campus services, as required to lead on the relocation, including development of room layouts, of groups of staff and students. Where major moves are envisaged as a result of significant capital/refurbishment projects.

• Move management will ordinarily fall within the remit of the relevant property project staff, however you may be called to support on larger self-delivered moves.

• Working with our consultancy partners directing colleagues to adopt and imbed our Space and Workplace principle as part of our capital and LTM project work.

Communication / Documentation

• Communicate effectively across a wide range of audiences.

• Liaise, establish and maintain positive links with external agencies and providers.

Person Specification

Job Title: Head of space and workplace Department: Estates and Facilities Directorate Criteria Headings Essential


Qualifications/ Education/ Training

• Educated to degree level or equivalent work experience.

• Project management qualification

• Membership of professional body e.g. RICS, BIFM, RIBA.

• Relevant AutoCAD qualification. • Experience of working within the HE sector and knowledge of key challenges facing the sector.


• Significant experience of Space Management at a senior and strategic level in a complex multi-building organisation. • Successful track record of high-level stakeholder influence particularly with professional and specialist groups.

• Track record of implementing agile working.

• Track record of working with timetabling staff responsible for meeting the needs of the teaching programme.

• Project management experience.

• People management experience including experience of influencing others.

• Academic timetabling including occupancy and utilisation measures.

Skills/ Aptitudes/ Competences/

• Excellent communication skills, able to write clear and concise reports and give clarity orally to specialists and non-specialists at varying degrees of seniority.

• Knowledge of pedagogical learning styles.

• Specialist space planning software, advanced use of databases and spreadsheets.

• Good interpersonal skills.

• Knowledge of best practice in Space Utilisation.

• Proficient in the use of AutoCAD and Excel.

• Highly numerate and analytical.

• Analysis of data and make and implement recommendations.

• Highly organised with good attention to detail, deadlines and accuracy.

• Influencing skills.


• Ability to work with competing priorities and work flexibly to meet deadlines.

• Knowledge of best practice in Space Utilisation.

Further Information & Application Process

For a confidential conversation please contact our advisor Ben Duffill ( of The Management Recruitment Group on 020 3962 9900. Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of not more than 4 pages) and a covering statement (of not more than 2 pages). Applications should be sent to Closing date for applications: Sunday 5th May 2019.

Regal House 70 London Road Twickenham TW1 3QS Tel 020 8892 0115

52-54 Gracechurch Street London EC3V 0EH Tel 020 3962 9900

111 Piccadilly Manchester M1 2HY Tel 0161 638 0936

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