A royal guest was welcomed to Manchester Metropolitan University as the Business School hosted the 25th anniversary conference of the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE).
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, drew on his experience as the Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield to give a short speech to attendees on Monday.
The event was opened by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Malcolm Press, who delivered a keynote address to AUDE members about the University’s strategy and the wider social and political context – as well as outlining six reasons to be confident about the future.
Showcasing the University
The Vice-Chancellor said afterwards: “We were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness, the Duke of York, to the University to address delegates at the 25th anniversary AUDE annual conference.
“The whole programme of the event provides us with an excellent opportunity to showcase the University’s campus.
“Place and Sustainability are two of the University’s five strategic themes and it is important to demonstrate our commitment to managing and developing the institution. We’re a large and diverse university with ambitious staff and students, so we need focused high-quality teaching and research in inspiring spaces.”
As well as opening the conference with an expansive first talk, Professor Press joined a panel discussion with Dame Nancy Rothwell, President of the University of Manchester, and Sir Howard Bernstein, until last week the Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.
Discussing the importance of collaboration between institutions and local government, Sir Howard said: “In my opinion, no other city does collaboration between partners quite like Manchester.”
The conference consists of a number of plenary sessions, several interactive seminars, a trade fair in the Business School and a series of excursions and social events.
AUDE Chairman Mike Clark said: “We’re delighted to run the AUDE annual conference which celebrates our 25th year.
“We’d also like to thank our fantastic hosts, Manchester Metropolitan University, for providing a spectacular location.
“We were honoured to receive the Duke of York who welcomed AUDE members to the conference and set the scene for the high calibre of talks that followed.”
Broadcaster Simon Fanshawe, who hosts the three day conference, said: “It’s the 25th anniversary of AUDE and it coincides with the transition to a modern university which has happened here.
“After hearing Malcolm speak, I would really like to be a student here. It sounds really exciting.
“There’s access to the wonderful Carol Ann Duffy, which is exciting for the students who are here and is going to attract the students of the future.
“The buildings here are extraordinary and I want to go and explore the School of Art.”