The University of Oxford has grown over eight centuries among publicly and privately owned buildings, including homes and businesses, in a very compact city - this creates different challenges to those faced by campus universities. While we need to continue to develop in order to achieve the University’s vision, we are mindful of our impact on local residents.

The management and development of the estate is driven by the University’s Estate Strategy which sets out key principles in line with the University’s Strategic Plan. It reflects the key challenges facing the higher education sector and this University, the impact of issues around efficiency and sustainability, and outlines future developments. The current five-year strategy covers the period 2013-18 and is currently being reviewed for the next five years.

Our priorities are:

  • To meet the changing patterns of research and teaching activity that result from changes in the size and shape of the University
  • To improve the utilisation of space through new buildings designed for flexibility and shared use, and the effective sharing of existing teaching and research facilities
  • To improve the condition and functional suitability of the estate by re-purposing existing buildings which are vacated when new ones are built
  • To reduce running costs and carbon emissions across the estate.

In addition to managing our existing buildings, we face new demands for space because of our growing research activities. We can develop new buildings thanks to research funding and donations. We also have a duty to preserve our historic buildings, and we undertake full renovations of buildings as well as refurbishments.

Our Estates Services department is responsible for feasibility studies, new buildings, major alterations or extensions to existing buildings, refurbishment of assets, demolition, and replacement of facilities.

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