“Food Systems Learning”
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 institutions1.
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 Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH), which brings together anthropologists, economists, veterinarians, agricultural researchers, health professionals, epidemiologists and nutritionists from The Royal Veterinary College, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the School of Oriental and African Studies to conduct agrihealth research, is an IFSTAL consortium partner. Through this collaboration IFSTAL will contribute to two of the RVC’s goals formulated in the Strategic Plan 2014-2019, namely delivering high-quality education that reflects the changing needs of society and the professions as well as global reach and citizenship.
1University 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).