OXF1 - Global Challenges of the 21st Century – Environmental, Technological and Urban Sustainability
27 June 2016 – 23 July 2016
Hosted by University of Oxford
The 2016 Oxford Global Summer Programme offers a general introduction to a range of scientific and development challenges of the 21st century.
The course is designed for undergraduates, and it addresses issues of climate change, conservation and urbanisation.
It is assumed that the majority of students will have had a minimum of two years’ study in the humanities, social sciences or sciences. Each student will be expected to work outside their usual area of expertise and be required to adopt methods (scientific/non-scientific) appropriate to the questions posed. However, no prior scientific knowledge is required.
The course will be delivered through tutorials, class meetings, seminars/presentations, project work and discussions as indicated below.
Target Audience/ Prerequisites
The target audience is undergraduate students with a minimum of two years’ study in the areas of humanities, social sciences, and sciences.
The prerequisite is a minimum of two years’ study in the areas of humanities, social sciences, and sciences. No prior scientific knowledge is assumed.
Students are expected to have completed preparatory work prior to arrival; details of the required reading will be available on the Oxford website in late February 2016. See www.conted.ox.ac.uk/iarugsp.
If the language of instruction at the home university is English, there is no need for applicants to provide proof of their fluency in English.
Students from other institutions with recent qualifications in English, such as TOEFL, IELTS or a Cambridge qualification, should include details of the mark or grade they achieved.
If they do not hold such qualifications, they should provide a note stating how many years they have studied English and they should arrange for their Study Abroad Officer or an academic who knows them well to provide a reference outlining their skills in English.
The course will be delivered through tutorials, class meetings, seminars/presentations, project work and discussions.
Each of the three tutorial days will start with a one-hour plenary session then the students, normally in groups of four, will attend a one-hour tutorial meeting with the tutor.
Students will research and write short essays on subjects addressing technological and environmental issues in preparation for each tutorial.
Tutorial 1 - One essay of 1,500 words
Tutorial 2 - One essay of 1,500 words
Tutorial 3 - One essay of 1,500 words
The essays will be assessed and returned with comments by their tutor. Students’ individual contributions to the discussion in the tutorial sessions will be assessed by the tutors.
The topics addressed in the tutorials will be:
Tutorial 1 - Introduction to the science of climate change
Tutorial 2 - Conservation
Tutorial 3 - Sustainability
Tutorial contact time: 6 hours
Students will take a six-session course on Urban Challenges for the 21st Century. The students will meet as a whole group (c.16 people).
They will prepare one essay of c.2,000 words and this will be assessed by the tutor and returned before the end of the School.
Students’ contributions to the class discussion will also be assessed. See below for the course outline.
Class contact time: 12 hours
Student Projects/ Role Play
In groups of four, the students will prepare a presentation for a role-play in the final week. (There will be reviews of the near-final drafts in the third week.)
Each student will contribute a section of the presentation and of the role-play and the entire project will be followed by questions from both staff and fellow students.
The project, its presentation in the form of a role-play and the Q&A session following will be assessed by the programme directors, as will students’ individual contributions as a member of the audience.
The four groups will choose between the following topics, with the two groups in the same theme arguing their position against the other:
1. Constructing a dam in Amazonian Ecuador
2. Drilling for oil in Amazonian Ecuador
Project contact time: 9 hours
Students will attend four one-hour presentations given by experts drawn primarily from the Oxford Martin School. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the content with the presenter. Each session will last for a total of 90 minutes.
The provisional list of topics is:
- Ethics of Technology
Each presentation will be followed by an informal discussion in the evening, led by a convener and usually lasting one hour.
Seminar contact time: 10 hours
Students will be given Summer Readers’ Tickets for the Bodleian Library, the University’s reference library. They may also find it helpful to ensure that they have access enabled through VPN and Eduroam (or equivalent) with the library resources of their home institution.
- To acquire a critical and informed understanding of some of the global challenges confronting humanity in the 21st century.
- To appreciate the inter-relation between aspects of scientific, technological and developmental issues of the 21st century.
- To apply the knowledge acquired from the programme.
- To develop critical skills within a more sophisticated understanding of particular aspects of human development and the implications for the future.
- To extend the knowledge of issues and challenges beyond the student’s own area of disciplinary study.
- To research and produce analytical work within tightly specified deadlines, requiring effective research skills and the rapid assimilation and analysis of complex information.
- To work with a group of peers from different parts of the world and to extend the student’s awareness and sensitivity to cultural differences.
Tutorials: 3 essays, (together worth 40 marks), contribution to discussion in classes (10 marks)
Plenary class: 1 essay (15 marks), contribution to discussion in classes (5 marks)
Group Project/Role Play: PowerPoint Presentation (20 marks), Delivery (10 marks)
Distinction (70% and above)
High Pass (60-69%)
Low Pass (50-59%)
Fail (49% and below)
Credit equivalent at host university & Contact hours
10 ECTS (estimated) credits
The University of Oxford does not award credit. However, for this programme we assess the credit equivalent in ECTS as being c. 10 ECTS.
37 total contact hours (classroom)
- Tutorials: 6.0 hours
- Classes: 12.0 hours
- Project, preparation classes: 3.0 hours
- Project, presentation day (min.): 6.0 hours
- Seminars, presentations: 6.0 hours
- Seminars, discussions: 4.0 hours
Total contact hours: 37 hours
This is an intense and demanding course requiring around 150 hours of private study work.
Lecturer(s) / Tutor(s)
Programme Chairman: Professor Angus Hawkins
Professor Angus Hawkins is Oxford University’s Director of Public and International Programmes, based in the Department for Continuing Education. He is also a member of Oxford’s History faculty, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Fellow of Keble College, Oxford. His research and publications examine aspects of modern British politics and political culture.
Co-Directors & Tutors: Dr Stephen Barlow & Dr Justin Bishop
Dr Stephen Barlow is a Research Associate in the Department of Zoology (Behavioural Ecology Research Group) and Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. His current research interests include communication in birds; shape recognition and tool use in birds and children; cognitive maps; and, of particular relevance to this summer school: sensitivities of island populations to change in climate.
Dr Justin Bishop is a Research Associate in Transport Analysis in the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight and the Energy Efficient Cities Initiative at the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering. He is a Visiting Research Associate in the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford. Previously, he was a James Martin Research Fellow in the Oxford Martin School Institute for Carbon and Energy Reduction in Transport at the University of Oxford. His research interests include electric power generation, road transport and the built environment.
Tutor, Urban Challenges for the 21st Century: Dr Michele Acuto
Dr Michele Acuto is Research Director and Senior Lecturer in Global Networks and Diplomacy in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) at University College, London, and Director of the City Leadership Initiative, a joint project of UCL, the World Bank and UN-Habitat. He is also Fellow of the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities at the University of Oxford, and coordinator of the UN-Habitat Safer Cities research hub.
The names of the four guest lecturers will be confirmed early in 2016.
Accommodation and meals are provided in Exeter College in central Oxford. The college is one of the University’s oldest and details can be found on its website at http://www.exeter.ox.ac.uk.
Participants will have a single study-bedroom, with shared bathroom and toilet facilities. The college buildings are mainly four storeys high and access to bedrooms is by stairs only. (Applicants with mobility problems should contact us at an early stage to discuss arrangements.) Meals are provided in the college dining Hall. The first meal is lunch on Monday 27 June and the last is breakfast on Saturday 23 July. No lunches are provided at weekends.
Students must arrive by 12.30 (lunchtime) on Monday 27 June 2016.
Students will be able to check in from 11.00 (am) on Monday 27 June 2016.
Check-out date 09.30 on Saturday 23 July 2016.
- Students cannot be accommodated either before or after the programme;
- The final event concludes at 21.30 on Friday 22 July.
Figures are estimates only. Click on each item for details.
Tuition FeesGBP 1,110
TextbooksEstimate c. GBP 110
Living ExpensesEstimate c. GBP 440
Estimate c. GBP 85 (For those that need to apply for a UK Student Visitor Visa)Please check the most up-to-date information on the official UK site www.gov.uk
Ten awards of GBP 1,000 provided by the Santander Bank.
For students from Peking University, Li & Fung Scholarships are available.
Required and/or Recommended Insurance(s)
Students are very strongly recommended to ensure that they have adequate medical insurance to cover dental charges, doctor’s bills and hospital charges. No cover is provided by the Programme or by Oxford University.
Students would also be wise to have insurance that covers the loss of, or damage to, personal items, especially electronic devices.
Course website: www.conted.ox.ac.uk/iarugsp