OXFORD University could build a new community of 1,000 subsidised homes for its workforce after bosses admitted it was becoming 'increasingly difficult' to recruit staff.

The institution is set to reveal its five-year strategic plan for 2018-23 later this year but has revealed ambitions to build 1,000 units of subsidised accommodation for staff and a further 1,000 units for graduates to deal with capacity issues.

The staff accommodation would then be offered at a discounted rent once the University has constructed the new community alongside a delivery partner.

The University's Pro-Vice Chancellor for planning and resources, David Prout, said the five-year plan would steer the University through 'wider economic uncertainty' and keep it at the top of the world rankings, which were published earlier this month.

Oxford has also been urged to copy Cambridge University - which is in the process of building a 3,000-home development including1,500 affordable University-subsidised homes for staff.

While a location has not been revealed, the University has been working with Cherwell District Council on potential sites and it is understood the community would have to be built close to the city.

Dr Prout, at a meeting of Oxfordshire Growth Board, said: "There's the question of recruitment and retention of staff.

"The University is nothing without its staff and we are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit the best staff across the world, particularly junior staff.

"So our aim, over the next five years, is to get under way the construction of around 1,000 units of subsidised accommodation for University staff.

"We are working with Cherwell District Council in that aim and later this year we will start seeking a delivery partner to work with us on that new community."

University-owned sites have already been 'prioritised' for the construction of the 1,000 extra graduate housing units and the search for delivery partners for that aspect of the five-year plan will begin in the early autumn.

The expansion of its science parks, at Begbroke and Osney Mead, as well as around £1.5bn investment in academic facilities has also been prioritised.

Dr Prout added: "There's also of course the wider economic uncertainty and what we really want to do is put in place a programme that will help us through that uncertainty and ensure that Oxford stays at the top of its game and makes the best possible contribution to the local economy and communities moving forward."

Cherwell District Council leader Barry Wood, who has been working with the University on housing sites, said it would be worth exploring Cambridge's Eddington development to the north west of the city, which won a national planning award last week.

The first phase of the project, which include the first 700 key worker homes, has been 80 per cent completed and those houses are being let to University and college staff.

He said: "It was their answer to the conundrum of expensive housing for postgraduates and research staff - basically they were building their own, in partnership with others, as opposed to waiting for the market to in some way provide it.

"Essentially that's what Oxford University is saying but it may be that you can pinch idea from Cambridge or copy it - because if it was planning permission of the year it could not have been bad."

Dr Prout confirmed discussions had taken place with old rivals Cambridge on what could be learnt from their project and what could be done differently.

Around 40 per cent of the University's 650,000sqm estate has been built since 2000 and the institution now receives around £700m a year in research funding compared with £70m a year at the turn of the century.

Over the next ten years it looks to set to invest around £1.5bn in physical development - after raising £750m with a 100-year bond at the end of the last year.

Oxford City Council leader, Susan Brown, said: "It's very helpful for us to have an understanding of the University's plans going forward and how we collectively might help to deliver the university of the future that we want to see in Oxford - and continuing to make Oxford and Oxfordshire a destination not just for people to visit and to live but also to study and research and innovate.

"It's an important part of our economy."