News: Food systems in the frame at IFSTAL summer school

News: Food systems in the frame at IFSTAL summer school

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Students and staff from seven higher education institutions have been participating in a pioneering summer school that aims to equip postgraduates with the skills to tackle problems in the food system. Taking place at the University of Reading from 30 June-5 July 2019, the summer school marks the end of the fourth year of the Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) programme, which is led by Dr John Ingram, Food Systems Group at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute.

IFSTAL was launched in April 2015 with catalyst funding from HEFCE and is a collaboration between the University of Oxford; City, University of London; University of Reading; University of Warwick; The Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH) – an interdisciplinary collaboration between Royal Veterinary College, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

During the week, postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines, and representing the collaborating institutions, have been working together on projects set by organisations such as Sainsbury’s; Compassion in World Farming; the Sustainable Restaurant Association; Pepsico and Global Food Security. Students also went on field trips, built skills in systems thinking and communication and attended talks by speakers working in different parts of the food system.

As a learning community, IFSTAL has been praised for increasing postgraduate-level understanding of the food system and equipping students with the skills to collaborate for change. To date over 1500 students have engaged with the programme, with many going on to apply their learning within the food system.

Catch up on all the summer school 2019 news here