Oxford Brookes Universitys Headington campus is set for a £150 million makeover that will include the addition of a huge glazed building overlooking a public square.
The five-storey building will house shops, cafes and banks and will become one of the areas most eye-catching landmarks.
Deputy vice chancellor Rex Knight explained that the university had looked at previous successful examples of re-vamped institutions in planning the glass building.
"This building has been three years in the planning and has involved considerable consultation with staff, students and the community," he told the Oxford Mail.
"We have seen in other universities how an investment in buildings can revolutionise the way students learn.
"We want our students to spend more time on campus after a lecture or tutorial, sharing ideas, working in groups and developing new skills."
Glass has become a major building tool in the 21st century with recent talk of a new glazed extension to Bristol International Airport being just one of the examples of its use.