Children taking part in the city's Light Night Festival
Children taking part in Oxford's Christmas Light Festival
Credit: John Cairns


The city and region

The University of Oxford touches on the day-to-day lives of many people in the city, in many different ways.

It is represented at a host of partnership working groups, which collectively help to ensure that the University can work with, co-operate and communicate with a range of other stakeholders across the city.

The Oxford Strategic Partnership is convened by Oxford City Council and includes representatives of the county, the voluntary sector, businesses and public services. Currently it is working on a programme to improve the economic, environmental and social conditions in Oxford.

The Local Economic Partnership (OxLep) is a wider strategic body which works towards supporting the business and economic development of the city and the county. The Oxfordshire Partnership also co-ordinates links with the local councils throughout the county.

The Oxford Cultural Partnership, again convened by the city, puts arts and performing groups in touch with each other and helps them to support and co-ordinate activities, events and fundraising.

There are also other mechanisms such as the Broad Street Group, which allows the domestic bursars of the colleges along Broad Street to work closely with the city to ensure co-ordination on major events in the city centre.

At an informal level there are constant conversations with voluntary groups, the police, the health service, local MPs, councillors, social services, local schools and community groups about issues of mutual concern, but lines of communication can always be improved. If you would like to let the University know about something you’re organising, the directory at the back of this publication will direct you to the right person.

Woman and sound funnelPart of Oxford's Christmas Light Festival, 2015

Credit: John Cairns

Oxford University Student Union (OUSU)

OUSU is dedicated to enabling students to make a positive impact on the community, with a full-time elected officer for Charities and Community. Every year OUSU fundraises over £80,000 for charity, half of which is donated to local charities. OUSU runs regular collections for the Community Emergency Foodbank, encourages blood donation and last year led students to donate 10.8 tonnes of second-hand items for the British Heart Foundation. OUSU runs housing campaigns targeting rogue landlords and the lack of affordable housing. Its homelessness campaign works closely with a wide network of local charities and lobbies the collegiate University to employ those who have previously been homeless, helping them get back into work.

Student Community Wardens

Student Community WardensStudent Community Wardens

Credit: Rob Judges

OUSU manages two warden teams, one in East Oxford and one in Jericho, the areas with the highest concentrations of students. They aim to improve the communication between students and residents, and develop co-operative relationships.

The wardens work primarily by door-knocking to share information about community issues and neighbourliness, waste and recycling, landlords and letting agencies, and safety. They can act as mediators and more recently have also started running community events, which have been widely attended by both students and other local residents.

The wardens also act as student ambassadors at local meetings (including Neighbourhood Action Groups, Community Associations, Oxford Brookes Wardens, the Thames Valley Police and Oxford City Council’s Waste and Recycling Team).

Such has been their success that there were no complaints to the University from local residents in 2014–15.

The Oxford Hub

Oxford Hub is a branch of Student Hubs and enables student volunteering in Oxford. Oxford Hub supports 49 student-led volunteering projects. In the academic year 2014–15, 597 students volunteered reaching 1,080 beneficiaries in the community. These projects added capacity to over 30 local community partners, such as schools, residential homes for older people and service providers for the homeless. They also helped students to engage and inspire their peers by organising events ranging from small workshops to large conferences with 300 delegates. In total, students organised 112 events with 3,249 attendees in the last year with Oxford Hub support.

To find out more go to: