School of the Built Environment

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OISD at Brookes is a Key Player in Sustainable Development Research

January 2008

Reinvention Image
The photograph shows Professor Tim Dixon (left, front) with fellow research staff based in OISD.

Findings from a new HEFCE report into sustainable development in higher education in England suggests that the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) is one of the key players in sustainable development research.

The report analyses 93 higher education institutions where research is carried out, and suggests that in terms of income, staff and students, OISD is among the most important sustainable development research institutes in England. This view is also reinforced in a Times Higher Education Article which lists Brookes as influential, while noting that often sustainable development is treated patchily within institutions.

Prof Tim Dixon, Director of OISD, said:

"This report highlights the challenges we face if higher education is to practice what it preaches. In OISD and the wider School for the Built Environment, we closely link research and teaching to integrate the sustainable development agenda in everything we do. Our inclusion amongst the key players reflects this, and also the strong green ethos at Brookes. We want to ensure our research continues to make a difference in tackling the key issues in the built environment such as climate change."

In addition to being home to OISD, Oxford Brookes has a strong tradition of taking environmental issues seriously. The University was recently placed in the top five most environmental universities, and received a Highly Commended in the 2007 Green Gown awards. Brookes good practice in this area was referenced in the recent Universities UK report, Greening Spires.

Founded in 2004, OISD has built on this tradition, and now generates income of over 1 million per year from research councils, industry and the public sector. Research addresses issues such as the energy efficiency of buildings; the impact of design on behaviour; what makes sustainable communities; what impacts major infrastructure projects have and how technology can reduce our carbon footprint and make buildings sustainable.

A recent conference for industry, the public sector and other stakeholders highlighted the Institute s research in the built environment and drew together more than 80 delegates from across the UK.



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