Edinburgh University has reprieved its threatened Centre for Human Ecology for a year, rejecting a management proposal to axe it in September.
The university court, meeting on World Environment Day, was lobbied by centre supporters, including green activists David Bellamy, Sara Parkin and Jonathon Porritt, who argued that it had a key role to play in Edinburgh's environmental initiative.
The court has called for a review of how the university conducts its programme of environmentally related teaching, research and institutional practice, including the centre's role.
Two court members will be involved in the review. Staff and students of the 23-year-old centre, who had complained that they had no advance warning of the closure proposal, will be fully consulted.
There are two part-time staff members, whose contracts are due to end in September. A university spokeswoman said it was court's wish for staffing to stay at a comparable level for the coming year. Proposals on its future will go to court before the end of December.
The centre encourages environmental research across disciplines which left it exposed during budget cuts as no single subject would earmark it as a priority.
Professor Bellamy said: "The CHE is a gadfly, and gadflies can cause stampedes. And by God, we need something of a stampede towards ecological change if we are to conserve for our children what my generation inherited."