University College, London is London’s leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 13,000 staff and 42,000 students from 150 different countries. UCL was rated the top university in the UK for research strength in the most recent Research Excellence Framework and is ranked 8th in the 2020 QS World University Rankings. It also boasts of 29 Nobel Prize laureates amongst UCL’s alumni and current and former staff.
UCL was about to embark on significant investment in a 10 year building and refurbishment programme costing £1.25Bn. This would include major refurbishments in Bloomsbury and eventually the construction of a East London Campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site breaking ground in 2019. It was clear that a review of the timetabling and the scheduling of the curriculum would be needed, both to support the scoping of the supply and demand for space, but also to centralise timetabling and planning to support both the day to day operational delivery improvement, and the potential to support the programme planning of physical works needed to achieve their plan.
Review, analysis, and modelling of key institutional resource drivers was undertaken. Importantly driving a new approach with improved linkages between management and planning aspects of the estate ensuring efficiency in use within the immediate and longer term development planning horizons.
A Strategic Resource Planning Methodology (SRPM) was developed to enable the College to effectively balance curriculum delivery with the provision of appropriate resources. It also ensured quality in delivery and effectiveness in use of resources could be actively monitored and maintained through the measurement of identified Key Institutional Targets. The key drivers being improved student and staff experience, the optimal and balanced use of the physical estate, and the provision of the correct type of space/facility in the correct proportion to deliver the curriculum. Utilisation analysis was undertaken, along with the structural analysis of the current timetable, and the current process for its delivery. Subsequently, scenario modelling was undertaken to support the development of a new approach to the timetable, scheduling and the use of the physical assets which then reconfigured the approach and optimisation of the timetable and the use of resources. This gave UCL a strategic and detailed view of how the university could manage the operational needs of the university whilst defining the amount and type of space needed in the future with an interactive model to programme plan for changes in the estate over future years.
EventMAP allowed UCL to plan for the operational changes of the estate and the planned growth in student numbers over the period of estate transformation. The previous approach to timetabling and scheduling was centralised for the university to ensure a consistent and optimisation of all resources needed to maintain the high value learning delivery that the university was renowned. It also allowed the university to model and understand the type and amount of space, needed in any refurbished or newly developed space which was directly related to the timetable and curriculum delivery needed over the following three years.