£1.8 billion development for University

The University has recently unveiled blueprints for £1.8 billion worth of development in Oxford.

The plans include new developments in the science area as well as accommodation provisions for students.

A spokesperson for Paul Goffin, director of estates at the medical sciences campus, said “in order to compete with the best universities in the world to attract top students and academics to Oxford, we need to provide suitable research facilities and student accommodation.

“Our estate strategy over the next ten years will improve our provision of laboratories, libraries and study space, and house more students in University accommodation.”

The university is intending to carry out the plans between 2014 and 2024.

Goffin said of the wider effects: “We are pleased that jobs will be created in the construction and staffing of these buildings, and that our aim to house as many students as possible in University accommodation will ease the burden on Oxford’s rental market.”

Isobel Wilson, a first year English student, said that “I’m really glad to hear how much development is going into the university. I think education is one of the best uses for funding and it’s important that Oxford continues offering the standard of education it is capable of.

“As universities become increasingly international, it’s interesting to see how Oxford is responding, and I think improvements to academic provisions is a good step. Also, as a small-college student, having fantastic resources that are university-wide makes a huge difference!

“I also think it’s great that the university recognises the importance of student accommodation and housing. Oxford is a hard city to live in because of the cost so having more development in that sector can only benefit students”, she continued

According to building development website bdonline, the development is in response to international university competition and comparison of estates with Universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Yale.

At a recent Thames Valley Universities’ investment plans event, Goffin said the university has noted £900 million worth of “capital projects” for the first five years. So far, £700 million of that has been funded.