SFC news published since 2018. See SFC archived content for earlier news articles.

How will the growth of online learning, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, change the spaces in which colleges and universities teach their students?

This is one of the questions being put to delegates at a forthcoming national conference focusing on the Scottish Government’s Learning Estate Strategy. Described by Education Minister, Jamie Hepburn, as “an opportunity … to discuss how the built environment can support the best possible educational outcomes for our children, young people and wider communities”, Scotland’s Learning Estate Conference will take place on 23 and 24 November.

The conference will include a session chaired by SFC’s Assistant Director of Capital and Climate Change, Rufus Logan, which will look at how digital learning could shape the design of classrooms, lecture halls and study areas for future generations. Contributing to the debate will be James Clay from Jisc, the SFC-funded organisation which provides universities and colleges with digital infrastructure and services. Other organisations contributing to the session include engineering consultants, Buro Happold and project management company, Atkins.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Rufus Logan said:

“College and university buildings constantly evolve to adapt to new technologies and the needs of the people that learn and teach within them.

“This is a particularly exciting time, when advances in digital learning made during the pandemic are challenging some of the assumptions we used to make in the design, construction and operation of learning spaces.

“The Scottish Funding Council was heavily involved in the creation of the Scottish Government’s Learning Estates Strategy, and we are currently undertaking a huge amount of work on the physical and virtual estate. This will be a great opportunity to carry forward the debate and learn from others in the field.”

See more details of the session.