News - 2012
Cornell Real Estate Case Competition in New York City
Six students from the Land Economy tripos recently competed in the 4th annual Cornell Real Estate Case Competition in New York City. This was the first time that Cambridge had fielded a team in the competition, which was held in November. Teams from the top US and international universities analysed a 'loan-to-own' case involving the acquisition of several tranches of mezzanine debt secured by equity in a portfolio of commercial properties. Teams presented their recommendations to a panel of industry leaders who then grilled each team on their recommendations. Team member, Ramandeep Singh said "In hindsight, to label our participation at the competition as being academically fruitful would be a great understatement - the chance to interact with students from leading universities, gain the feedback of industry heavyweights, and enjoy a photograph opportunity from the rooftop of the TIAA-CREF building in Midtown Manhattan was a captivating experience." The Cambridge team was sponsored by a generous group of London industry leaders from the Cambridge Land Economy Advisory Board.
Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award
PhD candidate Goylette Chami from the Department of Land Economy received over £6,400 ($10,000 US) for her outstanding research into the impact of biodiversity loss on human health. Giorgio Divitini and Najeeb Ullah, from the Department of Material Sciences, received a joint second prize of £1,600 ($2,500 US) towards the costs of developing a new catalyst for water purification.
"I am humbled and honoured to receive the Dow prize. It has allowed me to pursue research that would not otherwise be possible."
Goylette Chami, 2011–12 winner
MPhil Student Prizes 2011-2012
The Department is pleased to announce the award of the following MPhil prizes for 2011-2012:
|The Alister Ross-Goobey Award (CULS),
for best overall performance on the REF MPhil
|Mr Franz de Waal, Hughes Hall|
|The Douglas Blausten Award (CULS),
for best overall performance on the REF Dissertation
|Miss Zhongling Liu, St Catherine's College|
|The RICS Prize,
for best overall performance in module RE04
|Mr Franz de Waal, Hughes Hall;
Mr Guojie Liu, Queens' College;
Mr Faisal Azim, Darwin College.
|The Oxford University Press Prize,
for best overall performance in module EP05
|Mr Benjamin Jones, Selwyn College|
|The RTPI Prize,
for best overall performance in the PGR MPhil
|Miss Genevieve Lim, Newnham College|
We would like to thank the Cambridge University Land Society (CULS), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Oxford University Press (OUP) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) for their sponsorship. Many congratulations to all our Prizewinners!
Award winning students
Land Economist wins Dow student prize
Ms Goylette Chami, a Land Economy PhD candidate, has been awarded the Grand Prize in the The Dow Chemical Company's Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award in Cambridge 2011-12. Goylette's work on ecosystem services and infectious disease control was chosen from a total of 36 very strong applications, by a panel of judges The Programme for Sustainability Leadership, an initiative within the School of Technology, administered the prize. Details of Ms Chami's work is available on the DOW website: http://www.dow.com/sustainability/studentchallenge/winners/profiles.htm
Eva Steiner won the prize for best PhD paper at the 2012 AsRES & AREUEA Joint International Conference in Singapore. The paper studies the interrelationships between REIT leverage choices, real firm performance and the management of exposure to inflation.
Victoria Ormond won the ERES Doctoral prize for best poster. Entitled A Review of Loan Terms and Covenant use in the European Real Estate Sector, the poster presents the findings from a unique study of actual commercial loan covenant agreements sourced directly from a sample of borrowers within the European commercial real estate sector. The research provides detailed descriptives of how key loan terms, covenants and pricing have changed over the last decade by underlying property type and location.
Victoria's research is generously sponsored by the Investment Property Forum Educational Trust.
Tripos Student Prizes 2011-2012
The Department is pleased to announce the award of the following Tripos prizes for 2011-2012:
|The EMDF Prize for Best Performance in IA
For best overall performance in Part IA
|Mr. Sixiang Xu, Fitzwilliam|
|The RICS Prize for Best Performance in Part IB
For best overall performance in Part IB
|Mr. James Wiggins, Selwyn|
|The Noel Dean Prize (CULS)
For best overall performance in Part II
Ms. Frankie Whiteoak, Robinson and Mr. Nick Bruce, Girton
|The Sweet & Maxwell Prize
For best performance in Paper 5: Environmental economics, law and policy
|Mr. Christopher Hutton, Selwyn|
|The Gordon Cameron Memorial Prize (CULS)
For best performance in Paper 7: Regional Economics
|Mr. Thomas Pickford, Homerton and Mr. James Wiggins, Selwyn|
|The Mike Turner Prize
For best performance in Paper 15
|Ms. Nurbala Shukeyeva, New Hall|
|The Routledge-Cavendish Award
For best performance in Paper 8
|Ms. Georgina Dalgliesh, New Hall|
|The Estate Management Development Fund Prize
For best performance in the Dissertation
|Mr. Nick Bruce, Girton|
We would like to thank the Estate Management Development Fund (EMDF), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Sweet and Maxwell, Routledge and the Cambridge University Land Society (CULS) for their sponsorship.
Many congratulations to all our Prizewinners!
Year 12 Geography and Land Economy Masterclass – Saturday 31st March 2012
Come and experience undergraduate teaching at Cambridge.….. For the first time, the Year 12 Subject Masterclass series, run by the Cambridge Admissions Office, are offering a Masterclass in Geography and Land Economy. A chance for you to experience undergraduate teaching, speak to current Cambridge students, and hear about how to apply to two of the leading university courses in the world. For further details and booking information please go to the website at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/masterclasses/
A government-funded information and advice service helping older people to prepare for later life is proving a much-needed resource as Britain becomes an increasingly top-heavy society, a new report says.
The claims are made by the authors of a new study evaluating FirstStop, a free advice service for older citizens which helps them to plan for the future by supporting them on issues such as housing and care.
Researchers from the Centre for Housing and Planning Research, at the University of Cambridge, argue that resources of this type will become increasingly important as Britain’s older population grows. Current estimates suggest that by 2025, more than one third of the UK’s population will be over 55.
While the report’s immediate concern is with welfare, it also stresses that a cultural shift is needed so that people think about the demands of old age and plan ahead accordingly. It adds that this will have a significant impact on the public purse.
Even the cost of treating an elderly person who has had a serious fall at home can be up to £30,000 a year. Advice services which, for example, help people to modify their home first to cope with increasing frailty, are of value not just to the individual, but to the taxpayer, the study suggests.
Dr Gemma Burgess, who led the research, said: “Most people want to stay in their own home as they age, but often through lack of support or preparation become unable to do so. This can mean older people move into residential homes, which is not only a move they do not want to make, but also one that is hugely costly to the taxpayer.”
“With better information and advice about how to deal with the housing, care and financial challenges of ageing from a service like FirstStop, people are able to remain independent in their own homes or move to housing that really suits them, not only saving the taxpayer money but, more importantly, improving the quality of life for older people.”
To date, there has been no consensus on the difficult issue of how to deal with the pending housing and care crisis that the country will face as Britain’s population gets older. Housing has often been left out of the mix. Over the last 12 months, however, there has been a growing public debate about how to meet the challenges of an ageing population beyond traditional concerns about pensions. In particular, the publication of Dilnot’s Commission on the Funding of Care and Support highlighted concerns around having to sell family homes to pay for care in later life.
Against that backdrop, the Cambridge study strongly endorses the FirstStop service, arguing that this model of information and advice provision is vital if the country is going to withstand the emotional and financial burdens of a top-heavy demographic. Academics from the Centre for Housing and Planning Research are involved in an ongoing project which is analysing and informing the service’s development.
FirstStop users can call a Freephone number, or visit a website, to obtain independent and impartial support on housing care options, their rights and financial support. Face-to-face advice is also available. It is a fairly new service but growing; 90,000 people visited its website in 2010/11.
Critically, the service networks relevant organisations both locally and nationally. The result is a “one stop shop” for users which enables older people, their families, or their carers to cut through the bureaucracy of multiple services.
The latest study involved a follow-up survey with service users which found that FirstStop is helping people prepare for old age efficiently and achieves a high level of customer satisfaction.
It also suggests such information services have a positive impact on the “hidden”, often emotional consequences of having to deal with the effects of growing older. Users said that they felt reassured and able to make better-informed choices about their future. The anxiety and stress of people who used the service, especially when it concerned big decisions like moving into care, was reduced and their sense of well-being improved.
A centralised, integrated advice service was found to have multiple benefits from a processual point of view as well. The study points out that users’ details could be recorded for use in subsequent calls, enabling their concerns to be dealt with more efficiently. The integration of different organisations supporting older people also meant that these services were able to share information, encouraging more strategic, joined-up thinking.
The report concludes that the FirstStop national information and advice service for the elderly is key to instilling a culture of preparation, prevention and self-help across the UK to spare many people the worst costs of old age. It can also give people a clear and accessible means of getting support when they do hit a crisis.
Welcoming the study, Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: “This independent evaluation clearly demonstrates the value of the type of specialised housing and care advice provided by FirstStop, and the benefits to individuals and society of this advice being more widely available throughout the country at a local and national level. The Government is committed to enabling people to make an informed choice about their housing and care in later life. We are investing in the FirstStop information and advice service as detailed in the new Housing Strategy.”
"With better information and advice about how to deal with the housing, care and financial challenges of ageing, people are able to remain independent in their own homes or move to housing that really suits them." – Dr Gemma Burgess