UCL News


Transforming UCL: teaching space acquired at Birkbeck

3 July 2014

Over the last ten years student numbers at UCL have increased by more than 50 per cent, from approximately 19,000 in 2003-4 to almost 29,000 in 2013-14.


More than 20 per cent growth in student numbers during the last three years alone has put considerable pressure on our teaching and learning spaces. In addition, it is expected there will be impact on some teaching facilities from the Transforming UCL construction programme.

In response to these challenges, UCL Estates has been considering options to increase numbers of teaching spaces within the existing estate, developing strategic partnerships and exploring opportunities for leasing additional space.

A cornerstone of the plans is a recently signed reciprocal agreement with Birkbeck whereby UCL uses designated Birkbeck teaching space by day (9am - 5pm), and Birkbeck uses UCL spaces in the evenings. This is a further development in our existing relationship with Birkbeck who already benefit from access to UCL's teaching space out of core teaching hours.

This new agreement enables UCL to use 23 teaching spaces - including three lecture theatres - and a further three IT teaching labs. The allocated rooms are in Birkbeck's Malet Street site, conveniently located for staff and students in and around UCL's Bloomsbury campus.

These rooms will be centrally bookable from the start of the 2014-15 session and will make a tangible difference to our overall teaching capacity.

This agreement is a significant development but is certainly not the end of the process. UCL Estates continue to work on a number of fronts to improve both the capacity and functional suitability of teaching and learning spaces at UCL.

Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, said: "We have been working hard to enhance the provision of learning and teaching spaces and I am pleased to have put pen to paper on a deal that benefits both institutions."