Winter Conference 2019 Round-Up

The future of campus and commercial services has never been more important, as universities get set for further political change and future generations of students....

Some 100 university and partner delegates gathered in Edinburgh to ‘Vision the Future’ – a future which sees universities engaging with passion, optimism and increasing immersion in smart technology and social media to keep up with today’s and tomorrow’s students.







With delegates holding senior roles in commercial and campus services, the conference programme took a strategic look at the students of the future, sustainability in universities, student accommodation, the political landscape, performance nutrition and sustainable business modelling.

High-profile speakers included Professor Peter Mathieson, Vice Chancellor of The University of Edinburgh, Mark Fawcett (CEO of ‘We are Futures’), Dave Gorman, Director, Department for Social Responsibility & Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh, respected business author Neil Gaught, and Helenor Gilmour, Director of Insights at Beano for Brands (Beano Studios).

Research updates from UCAS, HEPI and Unite Students substantiated the key themes debated at the conference, including universities’ adaptability towards important issues such as climate change, gender neutrality, sustainability and changing campus experiences, and how evolving and smart technologies of the future are set to shape these.

What we learned:







Over the two days, there was plenty time for networking, meeting new and existing suppliers and visiting the host university campus.

We finished the conference with a charity cycling competition that saw delegate and exhibitors paired up to see who could pedal the furthest distance (on static bikes!) in five minutes. The challenge raised over £500 for Student Minds and made for a fun end to the conference.


We learned a great deal and got into the mindsets of students and the upcoming traits of Generation Alpha to ‘vision the future’ in a way that has really helped members look at the student experience afresh

Julie Barker, CUBO non-executive director


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