UAS Space Review

The pandemic has changed how we work, with many more colleagues working remotely at least some of the time.  

The UAS also faces significant constraints on its budgets; and it is important to find ways to increase efficiencies – so that we can free up funding to support UAS services. 

The UAS Space Review seeks to gain a detailed understanding of how effectively the UAS currently uses its space, and to understand what space  will be required in the future - particularly when working in a hybrid way.   

It will then make recommendations about how best to use this space.  

The aim is to reduce the UAS’s existing footprint by at least 25%, and a greater reduction where practical including through appropriate consolidation of services into fewer premises overall. We also strive to ensure our space is of the right quality and configuration, with appropriate technology in place to ensure delivery of services and support required by the University.   

Consultative approach 

The project is taking a highly consultative approach, to ensure our space continues to meet our needs.  

It is being overseen by a project board chaired by the Academic Registrar, Dr Saira Shaikh, with representation from across the UAS.  

A key focus will be understanding each UAS department’s current and future space requirements in light of New Ways of Working (NWW).  We will take care to understand teams’ operational needs and working methods – so that the UAS can continue to deliver its vital services, and so that we can adapt our buildings and spaces to the changes in working practices.  

Scope of the review 

The project includes all UAS sections reporting to the Registrar. It is also likely to inform the future space needs of the departments reporting to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs. It does not include divisional offices or academic departments.  

The project covers most UAS office spaces. However, it does not include specialist facilities, such as sports facilities, venues such as the Sheldonian and Exam Schools, nurseries; Wytham Woods; parks buildings and pavilions, security and operations spaces and server rooms.  

Project update – March 2023

This is a year-long- project that launched in Michaelmas term 2022, and will make long-term recommendations about how to use our space most effectively in the future.  

Since the launch, the project has made significant progress – mapping the space used by each of the 27 UAS units, and speaking to these teams about their space use and opportunities for consolidation. 

 Through these conversations, it has been clear that many UAS teams are already taking steps to reduce their space– in particular through the use of shared-desking and other flexible arrangements in a variety of UAS offices.   

 There are some immediate opportunities to reduce space use in the coming months, specifically in the following areas: 

  • Academic Administration Division: Student Systems moving to Worcester Street (releasing space for academic use in Gibson building), the Student Registry releasing some Exam Schools space, and consolidating Academic Registrar’s Office and EPS space 
  • Finance Division: releasing one floor in 6 Worcester Street 
  • Development Office: taking up space previously used by the International Engagement Office 
  • IT Services releasing some Banbury Road space 

Details of these moves have been communicated locally. They will help us achieve around a 13% space reduction – a significant step towards our 25% target.  

Further changes and next steps 

It is clear that there are more opportunities for longer term space reductions –making better use of our space, and consolidating into a smaller number of hubs, particularly around Wellington Square and Worcester Street.  

These will require more detailed discussions with the teams impacted, and no firm decisions have been made.  It is likely that these further alterations will require greater use of flexible and shared-desking arrangements, and thought (and budget) will need to be put into putting in systems and infrastructure, to make this conducive to current ways of working.  

These more detailed conversations will take place in Hilary and Trinity terms.

The project will make its final recommendations by the end of Trinity term 2023, which will determine the future use of space from the 2023/24 academic year.  

Any proposed changes to existing working arrangements will be communicated after this point.  

Further information 

More information about the project will follow as it develops. However, if you have any questions at this stage, please contact


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It won’t be possible to provide detailed plans about individual buildings (other than those listed above) until later in the project. However, it is likely to reduce the number of sites that UAS colleagues work in, with a focus on consolidating teams in larger buildings. This will help the UAS to work together more effectively, in line with our Professional Services Together ambition of working in a more collaborative way. 

There will be detailed consultations taking place with each UAS department, with space requirements being analysed and assessed as part of this process.

No. While there will be an expectation that the majority of UAS sections will be able to reduce their existing space allocations, specific reductions will depend on a range of operational factors determined through the course of the project. However, initial scoping indicates that 25% is likely to be broadly achievable in most spaces. Exploring opportunities for greater space saving will be done in consultation with individual teams. 

This project is focused on providing the right space for UAS teams based on current practices and future projections. Changing ways of working to require more home working is not currently part of its scope.

No. This project is specifically focused on making more efficient use of our buildings, based on current workforce projections and New Ways of Working we are adapting.

The project will make final recommendations at the end of Trinity term 2023, and we expect to be able to communicate specific details at that point.