UNIVERSITIES in Oxford were some of the first higher education institutions to achieve fairtrade status last week.

Following a student-led audit the University of Oxford achieved one star status and Oxford Brookes University received basic Fairtrade University status to mark their achievements over the past 18 months of work.

A Fairtrade status proves that institutions have numerous groups – students, academics, non-academic professional staff – and often a significant role in reaching out into different communities.

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In order to confirm the achievements of their university, students were recruited as volunteer auditors and given training.

Joanna Milis, education campaigns manager from the Fairtrade Foundation, said: "This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, not just for the Fairtrade farmers and producers but for students who have their studies disrupted.

"It is students remain committed to the movement."