University of Oxford

Disillusioned black Oxford students unwilling to help attract others | Education

Some black students at Oxford University say they are so disillusioned by its failure to tackle racism that they no longer feel comfortable working on outreach programmes to attract others to follow in their footsteps, a leading BAME society has said. The Oxford African and Caribbean Society (ACS), the university’s main group representing black students, said it remained committed to widening access, but more needed to be done to foster an inclusive and anti-racist environment. “I cannot in good conscience…

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UK universities suffer worst-ever rankings in world league table | Education

A triple threat of Brexit, tightening budgets and unchecked expansion has seen the rankings of UK universities in an international league table slump for the fourth year in a row. Nearly three-quarters of the country’s universities slipped down the rankings in the UK’s worst-ever performance in the table compiled by data and research group QS.  Imperial College London climbed one spot to reach eighth, making it the only UK university in the top 20 to improve. Oxford University slipped from…

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Oxford students to get anti-bias training after George Floyd ‘joke’ at hustings | University of Oxford

An Oxford college has ordered staff and students to undergo training to combat racial bias after an undergraduate made a “joke” drawing a comparison between protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and flour shortages. The comments, described as racist and trivialising by witnesses, were made during a virtual hustings event by a candidate for the position of “cake rep” – a welfare position on the junior common room committee at Christ Church college. The student, who has…

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Richard Sharpe obituary | Education

If any scholar could bring back to life the holy men and scholars of the Middle Ages it was Richard Sharpe. Richard, professor of diplomatic at Oxford University since 1998, who has died aged 66 of heart failure, was a man of abundant energy, which he poured into writing and editing a torrent of books and articles that threw light on all aspects of these men – saints and sinners alike. He was equally energetic outside his study – his…

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Wilfred Beckerman obituary | Education

My father, Wilfred Beckerman, who has died aged 94, was a renowned economist who combined a distinguished academic career, primarily as fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, with equally influential periods as an economic adviser for government. He was highly active (skiing into his 80s), a twinkly-eyed man with a good sense of humour whose love of learning and intellectual debate never left him. Born in London, the fifth of six children of poor Jewish immigrant parents, Moishe, a tailor, and…

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Loss of international student fees could decimate UK research | Education

As university researchers race to find a way out of the coronavirus pandemic, top institutions are warning that losing at least half their international students will blow a huge hole in their research budgets and lead to cuts in vital scientific projects. Many universities are anticipating a loss of between 80 and 100% of their usual intake of international students as a result of the virus, with most agreeing a reduction of at least half seems inevitable. This is an…

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Last year one Oxford college admitted 96% of its students from state schools. How did they do it? | Education

Erin Minogue has vivid memories of her Oxbridge application process. The words hard and daunting crop up frequently as she describes her journey from a Midlands comprehensive, then sixth-form college, to one of the most elite universities in the world. Oxford has felt “one step removed from me”, she explains. “A friend of a friend had been, but I didn’t have any family reference points so it felt very tough.” Now, about to sit her English finals, Minogue is a…

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The expert in social mobility who says education cannot make it happen | Education

‘I want to see social mobility rising once again,” said prime minister Tony Blair in 2004. “We can unleash the biggest wave of social mobility since the second world war,” said prime minister Gordon Brown in 2010. “I want to see a more socially mobile Britain,” said David Cameron in 2013. “I want Britain to be the world’s great meritocracy,” said Theresa May in 2016. The politicians’ message has been consistent. But so too has been the message from Britain’s…

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Suspended dean of Oxford college to be reinstated | Education

The dean of an Oxford college who was suspended last September after being accused of “immoral, scandalous or disgraceful conduct” has won a tribunal hearing and will be reinstated next week. Martyn Percy, the dean of Christ Church college, will return to work after a tribunal chaired by a former high court judge dismissed the complaints against him following a hearing behind closed doors in June. A statement posted on Christ Church’s website said: “Following a thorough investigation, the tribunal…

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Oxford University says sorry for International Women’s Day gaffe | Education

Oxford University has said it is “deeply sorry” after a female cleaner was pictured removing chalk graffiti saying “Happy International Women’s Day”. Sophie Smith, the associate professor of political theory at University College, shared a picture of the scene on Twitter, writing: “What an image for #IWD.” The university replied to the professor in a tweet saying the incident should not have happened. “We are deeply sorry for this and for offence caused. International Women’s Day is hugely important to…

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Oxford dean accused of failing to report child sexual assault claim | Education

The head of a prestigious Oxford college has been accused of failing to disclose an allegation of sexual assault of a minor to police or safeguarding officials. In the latest twist in a long-running dispute that began in 2018, Martyn Percy, the dean of Christ Church and head of its cathedral, strongly rejected the claims against him by the college, saying each of the cases were properly dealt with at the time. One of the dean’s supporters described the college’s…

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My day of two halves – from Bristol City to Balliol College | Education

I had a funny old day on Saturday. It began with a melee at a football ground in Bristol, and ended at a dinner at Balliol College, Oxford where I tried to hold my own in conversation with an economist, a cardiologist and an endocrinologist. There wasn’t a lot of time between these two engagements, so I had to wear my dinner suit beneath my big West Brom coat. As we won 3-0, I suppose I will now have to…

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Oxford Brookes doing worse than University of Oxford on state school admissions | Education

An Oxford university is struggling to meet targets for widening participation, according to the latest set of official statistics – but it’s not the university you might think. Figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveal that Oxford Brookes University admitted a higher proportion of privately educated undergraduates than most other UK universities, and more than some highly selective institutions such as the London School of Economics. Oxford Brookes – founded in 1865 and now with 18,000 full and…

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How Cambridge University almost killed me | Education

I had always been what they call a good student. In 2011, aged 18, I had two A*s and two As at A-level, various sporting successes and plenty of friends. I was president of more clubs and societies than the school needed. I was going to Cambridge University to study English. By most measures, things were going OK. There was a problem, however – I had also developed an eating disorder. Over the two years before I started university, my…

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Alarm at Ofsted-style plan to rank universities by graduate earnings | Education

Government plans to introduce Ofsted-style rankings for universities, with courses that produce lower salaries labelled as failing, would punish institutions outside London and threaten arts and humanities courses, worried academics are warning. In November the Conservative manifesto set off alarm bells in universities by promising to tackle “low-quality courses”. Now senior academics close to Westminster say the government is pressing on with this in a plan that could replicate the four Ofsted categories used for schools, flagging up university courses…

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PPE: the Oxford degree that runs Britain | Education

Monday, 13 April 2015 was a typical day in modern British politics. An Oxford University graduate in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE), Ed Miliband, launched the Labour party’s general election manifesto. It was examined by the BBC’s political editor, Oxford PPE graduate Nick Robinson, by the BBC’s economics editor, Oxford PPE graduate Robert Peston, and by the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Oxford PPE graduate Paul Johnson. It was criticised by the prime minister, Oxford PPE graduate David…

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