Looking forward to 2017, reflecting on 2016

Friday, 03 February 2017

The library in the Joel Joffe Building

As the new semester gets underway, we’re looking forward to the exciting changes coming to Oxford Brookes in 2017.

Here, we’ll highlight our top five, but we’ll begin with a look back at five of the best in 2016.


Contractors moved on-site in January to begin the phased redevelopment of the Sinclair building. This started with the Sinclair Annex and continues to the main floors, as well as cladding the entire building to provide a new appearance, make it more efficient to run and deliver an enhanced campus experience.

In March we reopened the Buckley building after an extensive refurbishment. It’s placed our Wellbeing services in an easily accessible place for students, as well as locating much of our professional services staff at Headington together.

July saw the opening of the Sinclair Annex. The home of our bio-imaging unit, this gives us the dedicated space for our microscopy research to thrive.

The Joel Joffe Building opened to staff, students and the public in August. The new campus in Swindon, to be officially opened later this month, was named in honour of Lord Joffe, long-time Swindon resident and former human rights lawyer. At a new location within the town, the campus replaces our former Victorian-era site with newly created specialist spaces, building on the University’s two-decade presence in the town.

In November, Oxford Brookes announced its future plans for the configuration of Headington and Harcourt Hill campuses, which followed the announcement of our decision to sell the Wheatley Campus earlier in the year. This will see a rebalancing of activity between campuses, with some staff, students and teaching relocating and large-scale investment in both campuses.


In February we’ll seek your views on which furniture to include in the new Clerici (see below). We want to know how students prefer to study and which layout of social furniture spaces best supports it. Keep an eye out – we’ll be in the ‘lab’ spaces opposite the Glass Tank in Abercrombie later this month.

Teaching will begin on the second floor of Sinclair in March. After a complete refurbishment, and now housing brand new industry-standard teaching laboratories, its impressive new spaces will also be the home of researching staff and students. More scaffolding will also be coming down around this time, revealing more of the building’s new facade.

The remodelling of Clerici and the former Main Hall is scheduled to be completed in time for the new academic year, producing brand new spaces for teaching, studying and key events like graduation. The Oxford Brookes Business School will also move into these spaces from its current home on the Wheatley Campus.

Over the summer we’ll commence improvements to Wheatley Campus, developing spaces for use after the move of the Business School, including some specialist spaces for the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment and improving library and social space on campus.

Throughout the year, we’ll also be making progress as we continue on our journey to shape the future of Harcourt Hill Campus. Keep a look out here for opportunities to feed into this process as we consult with staff, students and the local community.