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Innovative food systems teaching and learning (IFSTAL) – University of Reading

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Innovative food systems teaching and learning (IFSTAL)

Release Date 15 July 2015

Food security

Cross-university, interdisciplinary food systems training to improve food security and environmental outcomes.

IFSTAL is an interactive training programme designed to improve post-graduate level knowledge and understanding of the food system. With core funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), it will bring together expertise and experience of faculty and students from five leading higher education institutions - including the University of Reading.

IFSTAL addresses the urgent lack of a workforce skilled in food systems thinking. It will adopt a range of teaching methods and a virtual learning environment to link students with the complementary skills of the collaborating institutions.  In addition, a comprehensive research placement and internship programme is being developed, strengthening links with potential employers. Through IFSTAL, students will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and opportunities needed for them to be more effective in the workplace. This will allow them to address the systemic failings in food systems which have resulted in about one billion people being hungry, two billion lacking sufficient nutrients, and over two billion overweight or obese.

IFSTAL will contribute to the participating universities’ (see below) priorities for development highlighted in their strategic plans around the themes of food, health and the environment. The programme is led by the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.

For information about the University of Reading's involvement in the project contact Dr Alex Arnall, For general inquiries please contact Dr John Ingram at the University of Oxford:


Participating universities are: University of Oxford, City University-London, University of Reading, University of Warwick and the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH, comprising researchers from the Royal Veterinary College, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the School of Oriental and African Studies).

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