CUBO lead the way!

CUBO has now established an extensive network of knowledge sharing groups that are adding great benefit to the on-going development of the accommodation and commercial operations across Higher Education. CUBO funds three groups giving members the opportunity to network, benchmark with external bodies and facilitate business development. 

The three groups cover Finance, Training & Quality and Marketing. These groups meet two to three times a year, with a different University hosting each time and delegates attending from across the UK. Each group has a small team, who create the programme for the events having taken on ideas from the group’s members. Attendance is good with up to 40 people participating in a recent event. All group events receive excellent feedback from attendees and are fast becoming a valuable resource for members.

The CUBO Finance group was launched in its current format in November 2009. Its steering group is led by Dave Orwin from The University of Sheffield who is assisted by colleagues from Edinburgh, Essex, Kent and Liverpool Universities. The group recently held a well-attended conference at the London School of Economics with sessions dedicated to discussing hot topics raised by delegates on the day. Thought provoking presentations from the host institution on ‘Raising Finance in the Market Place’ and ‘Managing Vacation Income’ were well received.   The next event is planned for Autumn 2014.

The Training & Quality group was established in 2012 and its co-ordinating team is led by David McKown with members from Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester Metropolitan and Nottingham Universities helping him. The most recent event was held in March and included presentations from Ted Stone, CEO of Customer First, field trainers from Starbucks and a session on National Apprenticeships. David McKown commented, “The group is really embracing the sharing of knowledge amongst those with a passion for staff training and quality initiatives, it was fascinating to learn how the private sector plans and delivers its training and development and attendees took away some great ideas from the event.” Look out for the next event that will be held in the midlands in October.

The newest group to have been established in November 2013 focuses on marketing. It is led by Pat McGrath, CUBO Executive lead for knowledge sharing. Pat is supported by colleagues from Brunel, Essex, Exeter, Leeds, Leeds Met and Leicester Universities in planning the events. At their recent meeting in March, held at the University of Wolverhampton’s Telford Innovation Centre, the attendees benefited from interactive and thought provoking presentations by Giles Poyner of the Holman Group and Tom White and Simon Horniblow from Campuslife. In true Campuslife style Tom and Simon provided great entertainment as well as a serious message in their presentation. Feedback from delegates included “very detailed and inspiring – one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen” and “really useful day and a good variety of speakers and presentations. A supportive group for an industry that can feel a little isolated within the sprawling structures of a larger university environment”. The next event, at the University of Leicester, promises to be equally inspiring.

Further information about the activities of CUBO’s knowledge sharing groups can be found at or CUBO members can join one of the forums at