New food systems training network launched
City teams up with four leading institutions to form IFSTAL
Food policy students at City University London will be able to learn from experts at leading institutions across the country after the launch of a new educational network.
The initiative – Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) – will also allow students to take part in research and internship placements.
Five bodies have combined their resources to form the network:
- University of Oxford
- City University London
- University of Reading
- University of Warwick
- Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (comprising researchers from the Royal Veterinary College, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the School of Oriental and African Studies).
IFSTAL, which has been created for postgraduate students, aims to address an “urgent” skills shortage in the food industry and tackle “systematic failings” in food systems.
A joint announcement by the five institutions said: “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.
“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.”
The IFSTAL project is led by Dr John Ingram at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, as part of its Food Systems Research Programme. The project also contributes to the university-wide Future of Food scheme.
For more information, visit the IFSTAL website.