Latest Univ News

Browse the latest snippets on Univ and its students, tutors and Old Members, as well as the best news from around the University. This section is updated weekly. 





Univ OM in the spotlight

The Access Project, established by Alex Kelly (2002) in order to encourage able students from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply to top universities, is being hailed as a success by many education commentators in the media. A recent article in the Telegraph takes an in-depth look at the project, talking to Alex, the mentors and the individual students who have benefited from the scheme. Read more...


New Annual Fund Officer

We have nowed welcomed our new Annual Fund Officer, Ellie Brace, into the Development Office. Ellie joins us from Green Templeton College, where she has worked on the Annual Fund for several years. Ellie will have responsibility for all aspects of our Annual Fund programme and telethon and will also be present at many of our events. She looks forward to meeting as many Old Members as possible in the coming months.


VC warns UK research base is at risk

Professor Andrew Hamilton delivered this year's Vice-Chancellor's Oration last week, during which he warned that the health of the UK research base is at risk from cuts to government funding. He stressed that while other countries are increasing expenditure on higher education the UK is now falling behind the international average, which will impact on our ability to attract the best academics and graduate students. A short video of the oration is available online now. Read more...


New Dean for the Blavatnik School

Univ Fellow, Prof Ngaire Woods has been appointed as the inaugural Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford's school for leadership and public policy education. Prof Woods has helped to lead the creation of the School and has served as its Academic Director since September 2010. The school's initial cohort of 30 students will be admitted in 2012. Read more...


Boost for medical research at Oxford

Over £100m in funding over the next five years has been awarded to the medical research partnerships between Oxford University and local hospitals. The money, awarded by the National Institute for Health Research, will boost the research and development of groundbreaking medicines and treatments and is a recognition of the quality and scope of the work being carried out at Oxford. Read more...


Oxford Thinking Campaign Report

Oxford's 2011 Campaign Report is now available to view online. The report, which was sent to alumni and friends of the University around the world earlier this month, aims to highlight the ways your donations are making a tangible difference to the University and to say thank you for your generosity. The online version of the report is accompanied by several video clips, including one featuring Univ's Access Officer and there is also a survey enabling you to provide feedback on the report. Read more...


UNIQ Summer Schools success

Among those celebrating their A-level results recently were students with offers from Oxford who attended the University's first UNIQ summer school in 2010. The UNIQ scheme is a crucial part of Oxford's access work, providing academically able students from underrepresented groups with an opportunity to spend a week at Oxford, studying subjects in-depth and learning what university life is like. Of the 507 students who took part in the 2010 UNIQ scheme, 347 applied to Oxford. Of those, 137 were made conditional offers. Read more...


Univ OM in the Spotlight

The Singaporean Presidential Elections took place in August, with Univ OM Jee Say Tan (1973) one of four candidates in the running for the Presidency. He has spent the past month on the campaign trail, videos of which can be seen on his website. Although Jee Say was not eventually elected to the Presidency, he won a significant 25% of the vote when the people of Singapore went to the polls on August 27th. Read more...


Reading parties at the Chalet des Anglais

Groups of Univ members past and present once again visited the Chalet des Anglais over the long vacation, enjoying days of walking, reading and mountain life in the area around Mont Blanc. Several impressive mountain climbs took place, with Univ members reaching the summit of Mont Blanc and ascending the Dent du Geant, amongst others. Photos and a brief report from the Chalet trustees can be found on our website.


Reading parties at the Chalet des Anglais

Groups of Univ members past and present once again visited the Chalet des Anglais over the long vacation, enjoying days of walking, reading and mountain life in the area around Mont Blanc. Several impressive mountain climbs took place, with Univ members reaching the summit of Mont Blanc and ascending the Dent du Geant, amongst others. Photos and a brief report from the Chalet trustees can be found on our website.


Oxford Alumni Weekend

There is now only a few weeks to go until Oxford's annual Alumni Weekend, which takes place on the 16-18th September. This year's event, entitled 'Meeting Minds - 21st Century Challenges', features a packed programme of events and high profile speakers focussing on some of this century's most pressing concerns. You can view details of the full programme and book online by visiting the Alumni Weekend website. On Saturday 17th there will be drinks available in the Master's Garden for all Univ Old Members attending the weekend. Contact Julie at for more details.


Oxford's Access Agreement approved

Oxford's Access Agreement has been approved by the Office for Fair Access. Oxford will spend more of its additional fee income on access than any other university in England (50%) - nearly double the sector average. Financial support for lower-income students is likely to be the most generous in the country.Read more...


Univ joins Twitter

In addition to starting up our Old Members' Facebook page, Univ has also recently joined Twitter. The College feed provides news and comment from all areas of the College (not just development) and we hope it will be a great way to quickly find out information about upcoming events, open days and College news. You can follow Univ on Twitter at @UnivOxford.


New Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow

We are very pleased to announce that Prof Bill Roscoe, Univ Fellow in Computer Science, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is the first Fellow of Univ to receive this honour. Bill first came to Univ as a student in 1975 and has gone on to conduct leading research in the fields of concurrency, verification, FDR and computer security. Read more...


Awards for Univ OMs

The end of the university term has brought with it a number of awards and honours for Old Members. The career of OM and Emeritus Fellow John Finnis (1962) was recognised by the University of Notre Dame Australia, who conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. David Miles (1978) was made an Honorary Fellow of Swansea University, while Armando Iannucci (1982) received an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow. Congratulations to them all!


Access news

It has been a busy term for everyone involved with access and schools liaison projects at Univ. Recent weeks have seen the launch of this year's Alternative Prospectus, written and produced by current students, which can be read online here. A fantastic stop-motion video tour of the College for prospective applicants has also been produced - watch it here. And finally, Univ's Access Officer, Anne-Marie Canning, was the recipient of a 2011 OxTALENT award for impact and outreach. The judges particularly praised her use of social media to interact with students.


Ten years at the top

Oxford has come top of the Times Good University Guide for the tenth year in a row. The guide, which ranks institutions on a number of criteria including qualifications earned, student satisfaction, staff-student ratios, bursary provision and graduate employment. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Andrew Hamilton described the ranking as "an incredible testament to the achievements of Oxford's faculty and students across its many Colleges and departments". Read more...


Unlocking the secrets of volcanoes

Dr Tamsin Mather, Univ's Special Supernumerary Fellow in Earth Sciences, was at the Times Cheltenham Science Festival in June, presenting her team's latest research into the earth's volcanic activity. Prior to the festival she spoke to the BBC about her work, who used the interview to create a fascinating audio slideshow. Read more..


New Old Members Facebook page

We've decided to reinvigorate our presence on Facebook and have set up a brand new page where we'll be posting College news, keeping you up to date with all our latest events and posting photos from recent events on the wall. We'd particularly welcome contributions from Old Members, such as photos and links to your news or websites. Come and find us at and be sure to click the 'like' button in order to keep up to date with our activity on the site!


The Romanes Lecture

Univ Old Member and Honorary Fellow Sir Andrew Motion (1971) returned to Oxford University earlier this month to deliver the historic Romanes Lecture. Entitled "The Bonfire of the Humanities", the lecture presented a staunch defence of the arts and humanities. The full lecture is available to watch on the Oxford website now. Read more...


Tower Poetry Prize

Univ OM Peter McDonald (1980), a poet and academic at Christ Church College, Oxford, was one of the judges of this year's Tower Poetry Prize, an award recognising the poetic talents of 16-18 year old students in the UK. The competition, now in its eleventh year, attracted entries from 764 schools and was based on the theme 'Simplicity'. The first-placed poet scooped a £3000 prize. All the winning poems will be made available on the competition's website. >a href="">Read more...


Michelle Obama visits Oxford

First Lady Michelle Obama visited Oxford on May 25th during the Obamas state visit to Britain. While here she gave a talk to pupils from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Language College (EGA), a secondary school for girls in North London, as part of their day long university 'immersion experience'. The day also featured talks from leading female academics, including Univ's Prof Ngaire Woods. Video footage of the First Lady's visit is available on the Oxford website now. Read more...


New endowed History posts at Univ

We are extremely pleased to report that Tim Sanderson (1976, History) has made an incredibly generous philanthropic gift to Univ, endowing both a full Fellowship and a Junior Research Fellowship in History. Tim says 'I am delighted to endow a Fellowship in History at Univ both because my own time there was so formative and because I believe that it remains an excellent discipline for a wide range of future careers.' The College is deeply grateful to Tim, who has helped secure the future of History at Univ, at a time when the humanities are under unprecedented pressure from government cuts.


Summer VIIIs

Summer VIIIs racing, one of the highlights of the Oxford rowing calendar, begins next week and the Univ crews look confident following a very successful Easter training camp. The week's racing comes to a climax on Sat 4th June and we would love to see as many OMs as possible at the boathouse to cheer on our rowers on the day. Attendance is free and drinks and barbecue food will be available throughout the day.


Univ OM in the spotlight

Although she has only just completed the final exams of her medical degree, Univ OM Nicky Osborne (2002) has already embarked on her next challenge; preparation for the 2012 Olympics. Nicky is part of the Team GB Volleyball squad aiming to compete in the games, despite receiving no UK sport funding. She recently spoke to the 'London Evening Standard' about her Olympic ambitions and the hurdles she and the team have had to overcome to get this far. Read more...


Giant storm on Saturn revealed

With the aid of space probes and a giant telescope a team of Oxford scientists led by Univ JRF Dr Leigh Fletcher has discovered a storm so large that it encircles the whole of Saturn. The storm's effects reach around 370 miles into the stratosphere and have engulfed the planet, which is nearly ten times bigger than the Earth. Read more...


Oxford and Asia

April saw Oxford's Vice-Chancellor Prof Andrew Hamilton embark on a visit to Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing to celebrate the University's links with the region. During the visit he helped launch a new collaborative research centre specialising in training those dealing with large scale disasters and an exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oxford University Press in China, and announced a new exchange scheme for undergraduate students from Oxford and China. Read more...


A fuel cell in your pocket

Univ Fellow and Praelector in Inorganic Chemistry Prof Edman Tsang and his colleagues in the Department of Chemistry are developing catalysts which can produce hydrogen at room temperature without the need for solvents or additives. The resulting fuel cells would provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to lithium batteries. Their promising initial results, published this month in 'Nature Nanotechnology' suggest that the ability to create these pocket sized hydrogen fuel cells may not be far away. Read more...


Submissions for News, Notes & Networking Magazine

All Old Members are invited to submit their personal news, professional networking information and details of anything they may wish to advertise to the Univ community for inclusion in the next edition of our 'News, Notes & Networking' magazine. We are especially keen to increase the number of interesting photos in the magazine, so please do send in a picture to accompany your entry if appropriate. To make a submission please email Andrew. The magazine will accompany the Trinity term edition of the Univ Newsletter.


Oxford set for record state school intake

Oxford has released its latest set of admissions statistics, with preliminary figures showing a rise in the percentage of offers to UK state school students. 58.5% of offers were made to state school students for 2011 entry, an increase from last year's 55.4% and the highest figure since the University started keeping official records of this statistic in 1983. Read more...


Changes to tuition charges at Oxford

Oxford has announced its intention to charge annual tuition fees of between £3,500 and £9,000 from 2012-13, with no fees repayable until after graduation. First-year students from the lowest income households will have charges limited to £3,500 and over £15m a year will be spent on financial support for students and the University's access work. Full details of the proposed changes, along with a letter from the Vice-Chancellor, can be found here.


Awards of Distinction for Univ students

Univ graduate Modern History students Stephen Wagner (2010) and Dawn Berry (2009) have been awarded James Lougheed Awards of Distinction from the Government of Alberta, Canada. The award, valued at $20,000, is one of the highest distinctions awarded by the Canadian province and is fiercely competitive. The awards are usually disbursed across other Canadian provinces, the United States and the United Kingdom. It is very unusual to have two awards granted to Oxford students, particularly in the same field and at the same college.


Colleges release financial statements

Oxford's Colleges recently published their financial statements for the year ending 31st July 2010, reporting an overall surplus at the operating level and an 11.5% growth in the value of their endowments. The reports show that income from core activities covered less than half of the College's costs, highlighting the increasing importance of endowment income, revenue from conferences and trading and income from donations. Read more...


Accolade for access at Univ

Univ's access work has been recognised by the Higher Education Liason Officers' Association, with our Alternative Prospectus reaching the finals of the group's Innovation and Best Practice Awards 2010-11. The prospectus received praise for its innovative engagement of the college community, unique newspaper format, forward-thinking use of social media and the collaborative working between staff and students. Read more...


2011 Boat Race

The Oxford and Cambridge squads are now entering the final stages of preparation for this year's Boat Race, which is now less than a month away. Visit to keep up to date with all the latest news, read biographies of the squad members and see pictures and videos of the teams in training. The site will be regularly updated until race day on 26th March. Read more...


Congregation discusses tuition fees

A transcript of Congregation's discussion on undergraduate funding and support in the context of the new financial arrangements for higher education approved by Parliament is now available to view online. 19 Members of congregation and 7 students or student representatives spoke at the meeting, with the views expressed to be taken in to account by the University Council as it deliberates on these matters in March. Read more...


Oscars for Univ OM

The multi award winning film The King's Speech, directed by Univ Old Member Tom Hooper (1991), received further accolades this weekend, picking up four Oscars at Sunday's ceremony. Nominated in 12 categories, the film won best motion picture of the year, performance by an actor in a leading role", achievement in directing and best original screenplay. To the best of our knowledge, Tom is Univ's first ever Oscar winner. Read more...


Univ's new Development Director

We are delighted to introduce Univ's new Development Director, Heather Ebner, who will be joining the College on 15th March. Heather comes to Univ from Green Templeton College, where she has worked as Director of Development since 2008. Prior to moving to Oxford she was Director of Gift Planning at Vassar College, New York State.


The next Univ Ball

Preparations are now well underway for Univ's next Ball, taking place in College on Saturday 2nd July. Titled ‘Le Rêve’, the night will bring a spectacular dream world to life and shake up the traditional ball ethos. The Development Office and the Ball Committee have arranged to reserve a number of tickets specifically for Old Members, which can be purchased online by clicking here. The ball website,, features full details of the night's entertainment and will be updated regularly in the build up to the event.


Gordon Brown comes to Oxford

The Global Economic Governance Programme at Univ has recently announced a special lecture, to be delivered by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. On 15th February Mr Brown will speak on the subject "After the Crash: Building a Future of Jobs and Justice", after which there will be a reception and book signing. Univ OMs are very welcome to attend. If you would like to come, please RSVP to the GEG Office by 8th February at the latest.


Univ Telethon 2011

Our annual telethon took place this month, with a group of 21 student callers reaching 950 Univ Old Members from all across the globe. The team spoke to former students to find out their news, update them on news from College and to invite support for Univ's Annual Fund. Students received fantastic career advice and were fascinated to hear about the incredibly varied paths that our Old Members had taken. Thank you to all of those who spoke to our callers and for your generosity; an amazing £375,000 was pledged to the College by the end of the two-week calling period, with three quarters of those reached choosing to contribute. Your support is invaluable, and the College is extremely grateful to you all.


Honours for Univ Old Members

January saw the announcement of the New Year's Honours list, with four Univ OMs receiving recognition for their work. Amanda Rowlatt (1982) was awarded a CBE for her work as Director of Analysis and Child Poverty at the Department of Work and Pensions. Michael Christopher Jackson (1970) was awarded an OBE for services to Higher Education and to Business. Eric Thomson (1953) was awarded an MBE for services to sport in Haslemere and William Shawcross (1965) was made a CVO for his biography of the Queen Mother. Congratulations to them all!


Universities face 'funding lag'

Potential government cuts to the higher education teaching budget will leave universities facing a 'funding lag', it has been warned. The cuts, which will take place a year before any increase in tuition fees is allowed, will make the 2011/12 academic year extremely tough financially. Universities UK, the group which represents University Vice-Chancellors, warned the lag could do significant damage to the sector and risk a 'loss of capacity'. Read more...


Shelley's Ghost

The Bodleian library has launched a new exhibition dedicated to one of Univ's most famous Old Members. Entitled 'Shelley's Ghost', the exhibition unites the collections of the Bodleian and the New York Public library to chart the history and reputation of the poet and his family. Items on display include one of the Shelley letters bought by Univ in 2005 and the proposals and designs for the Shelley memorial in College. Read more...


Career Days for Old Members

The Oxford Alumni Office is pleased to announce its new series of career events, designed exclusively for Oxford Old Members. The first event will take place in London on February 12th and is aimed specifically at mid-career professionals who would like to boost their career or change direction. The day will feature workshops, networking opportunities and talks from other OMs and University representatives. Read more...


Varsity win for Oxford

The annual Varsity Rugby Match took place on 9th December, with Oxford avenging last year's defeat and beating their Cambridge rivals 21-10. The Blues, whose squad contained 5 Univ students, had earned a convincing lead by half time and although Cambridge piled on the pressure during the second half, Oxford's courageous defensive efforts ensured the victory. Read more...


Leverhulme Prize for Univ Fellow

Univ's Special Supernumerary Fellow in Earth Sciences, Dr Tamsin Mather, was one of the winners of the 2010 Philip Leverhulme Prizes. The prizes, with a value of £70,000 each, are awarded to outstanding scholars who have made a substantial and recognised contribution to their field of study, and where the expectation is that their greatest achievement is yet to come. Read more...


Exploring the Oceans

As reported in a previous edition of E-News, Univ's Prof Gideon Henderson has recently been at sea, leading an ocean research expedition to investigate ways the ocean can be used to help 'geoengineer' a cooler climate. Gideon and the team have been regularly updating their blog throughout the trip, providing a fascinating insight into their research and life at sea. Read more...


Eldon Mooting Report

The Annual Eldon Society Moot took place in November, with four Univ freshers competing for the prestigious 'Lydiard Cup' and £100 cash prize. Moot co-founder Andrew Lydiard (1975) returned to College along with Andrew Butler (1987) and Oliver Jones (2007) to judge the proceedings; all were impressed with the extremely high standard of the entrants performances. The competition was hard fought, with the prize eventually won by Sarah-Louise Fernandez. Read more...


Autumn USPGA meeting

The USPGA held its autumn meeting on 16th November at Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Glub, hosted by Robin Butler (1957). 22 Old Members took part and although the ground was wet, the sky was azure blue, showing off the magnificent views of the London skyline. The individual trophy was won by Charlie Laughton-Scott, who along with Mike Shilling and Peter Button, also won the team event - a collective triumph for the 1975 intake. The nearest-the-hole prize was won by Univ golf historian, Nick Smith (1976), and the longest drive by the youngest entrant, Mark Timpson (2007).


Investigating the Ring of Fire

A team of Oxford earth scientists including Univ's Prof. Philip England has discovered why the earth's most explosive volcanoes are confined to narrow bands, such as the 'Ring of Fire' in the Pacific. Their report, published in a recent edition of Nature, is the first to explain the location and narrowness of the volcanic arcs, which are responsible for some of the most devastating eruptions in history. Read more...


Testing the jet engines of the future

Oxford's Department of Engineering Science has opened its new laboratory, which will work to develop the greener and more efficient jet engines of the future. The lab contains wind tunnels, testing facilities and computerised modelling equipment, and is able to reproduce the exact conditions inside a jet turbine. Univ Fellow Dr Tom Povey is a key figure involved with this cutting-edge research. Read more...


Oxford campaign reaches £1 billion

Oxford Thinking, the fundraising campaign for the University of Oxford and the largest fundraising campaign in European University history, has now raised over £1 billion. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, praised the generosity of Oxford alumni and supporters, describing it as “fundamental to Oxford’s future” in a time of reduced government funding. A gift to Univ is also a gift to Oxford Thinking. Read more...


An insight into the Oxford interview

What is 'normal' for humans? If you could invent a new musical instrument, what kind of sound would it make? These are just a few of the sample interview questions released by Oxford earlier this month to demystify the process and show what is expected of potential applicants. Mike Nicholson, director of undergraduate admissions, explained that "the interviews are not designed to see how quickly students get the 'right' answer or show off specialist knowledge, but to gauge how they respond to new ideas." Read more...


Rugby in Russia

September saw Oxford University Rugby Club embark on a two week tour of Russia, taking in the sights and competing against local teams. The Blues squad, which contained four Univ students including captain Nick Haydon (2009), played two matches against Slava and the Kazan State Agrarian University, and were also invited for dinner at the Russian Embassy. Read more...


University funding in the news

Higher education funding is never far from newspaper headlines at present. Leading academics and university chiefs have this month highlighted the impact that government spending cuts to science funding could have on research, and how in conjunction with the proposed cap on immigration they could damage institutions ability to attract the world's best scientists. Meanwhile, Oxford Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton has warned that cuts could put the University's status as a world-leader under threat and make Oxford more reliant on philanthropic support.


New school of government launched

Thanks to one of the most generous gifts in the history of the University, Oxford has been able to launch the Blavatnik School of Government, Europe’s first major school of government. The school will run a highly practical series of courses, training outstanding graduates from across the world in the skills and responsibilities of government. Read more...


Film award for Univ OM

The King's Speech, the acclaimed film directed by Univ OM Tom Hooper (1991) and starring Colin Firth, has scooped a major award at the recent Toronto Film Festival. The film, which details King George VI's struggle to overcome his stammer, was awarded the People's Choice award and was one of the most talked about films of the festival. Read more...


Fellowship for recent graduate

Recent graduate Kyle Hill (2006) has been selected as one of the 17 Fellows for the 2010-11 Action Canada Fellowship, a leadership and public policy development program for people in the early stages of their careers who have the promise to be future Canadian leaders. The team of Fellows will be working on several projects over the coming year, including the establishment of a global pro-Canada network for Canadians living outside the country. Read more...


Ocean research at Univ

Univ's Sollas Fellow and Praelector in Earth Sciences, Prof Gideon Henderson, will be taking to sea later this year as leader of an ocean research expedition. The team plans to look at how the ocean's carbon cycle works and assess various ways the ocean could be used to help 'geoengineer' a cooler climate in the future. The team will be blogging throughout their trip, which is due to start in October. Read more...


Shakespeare's Spaces

Prof Tiffany Stern, Univ's Beaverbrook and Bouverie Fellow and Tutor in English, has been in Australia recently, representing the University at the inaugural season of the Australian Shakespeare Festival. The festival ran throughout August, with Tiffany convening a colloquium entitled 'Shakespeare's Spaces', looking in depth at the playwright's attitude to locality and localities, large and small, and how the theatrical space was used to engage and connect with the audience. Read more...


Univ climbs the Norrington Table

August saw the release of the interim Norrington Table; the chart ranking all of Oxford's colleges on the basis of their undergraduate finals results. For the second year in a row Univ has climbed up the rankings and is now in 6th place with a Norrington score of 71.96%. Read more...


Oxford Careers Services

If you are looking for careers advice, a change in direction or potential opportunities for recruitment then Oxford University is here to help. As well as providing support for current students, the Oxford Careers Service has a range of resources for Old Members of all ages, including job vacancy listings and networking opportunities via the Oxford Careers Network. OMs can also help support current students by offering advice and work-based learning opportunities, and can use the service to advertise both paid and voluntary job vacancies to Oxford graduates. Read more....


Royal Society appoints new director

Univ Fellow and current Oxford Registrar, Dr Julie Maxton has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science. She will take up the role in early 2011, replacing Stephen Cox, who will be stepping down after 13 years' service. Julie will be the first woman to hold this prestigious post in the Society. Read more...


Digitisation moves a step closer

A generous parallel donation to both Oxford's and Cambridge's libraries has meant that plans to digitise collections can now move forward. Digitisation will allow scholars to access materials in new ways, while collaboration on the project between the two institutions means access to a greater number of sources and amount of knowledge. Read more...


MediaGuardian 100

The Guardian has released its annual MediaGuardian 100, a comprehensive guide to the most powerful people in the industry. This year saw Univ OM and BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson (1983) rise up the list to 26, following his performance during the coverage of the general election. The writer and director Armando Iannucci (1982) also featured at number 60 thanks to his work on The Thick of It and In the Loop. View the full list here.


Univ students victorious at national Moot

Two Univ lawyers have won one of the country's largest and most fiercely contested mooting competitions. Current undergraduates Josh Folkard (2008) and Daniel Khoo (2008) represented Oxford at the OUP and DPP National Mooting Competition, emerging victorious after contests against the Universities of Birmingham and Chester and Sheffield Hallam University. Read more...


Univ's alternative prospectus

In conjunction with the Academic Office Univ's students have produced a new alternative prospectus for prospective applicants to the College. The prospectus offers a great insight into all aspects of life at Univ from the perspective of current undergraduates and features a pull out map of favourite Oxford spots, interviews with fellows, features on tutorials, accommodation and much more. Read the Alternative Prospectus online.


New Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Oxford

Former Univ Fellow, Prof. Nick Rawlins, is to become Oxford's new Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Development and External Affairs, with effect from October 2010. In the role, Nick will provide leadership on development affairs across the University, holding responsibility for the coordination of Oxford's worldwide fundraising and alumni relations programmes and the oversight of the University's civic relations. Read more...


Oxford tops the 'table of tables'

Oxford has topped the Times Higher Education 'table of tables' for the third year running after coming first in domestic University ranking tables published by The Times, The Guardian and The Independent this month. The table, which is designed to give an overall view of how the higher education sector is perceived by the British press, was first published in 2008 with Oxford leading the rankings every year so far. Read more...


Civic award for Univ student

Univ student Carys Roberts (2008) has received one of the inaugural Vice Chancellor's Civic Awards in recognition of her work with Univ's access scheme and her role as founder and coordinator of the university-wide Maths Plus initiative. Launched earlier this year, these prestigious awards aim to promote the positive impact of Oxford students on the local, national, and international community. Read more...


Cricket news

June was both a busy and successful month for cricket at Univ and the University as a whole. On June 4th crowds gathered in the glorious sunshine to watch Oxford beat Cambridge by 53 runs in the Varsity Twenty20 match. Straight after this the Univ team took to the field against Oriel in a match which saw them emerge victorious as this year's Cuppers champions. On the 6th, Univ's cricketers faced another challenge in our annual Alumni Cricket Match, where they beat the OMs' team by 99 runs. You can read Nick Smith's (1976) entertaining match report by clicking here.


Washington DC picnic

Following the success of our recent Univ events in the USA, Univ OMs in the Washington DC area are planning a July picnic for Old Members, families, and friends. The date and venue are yet to be determined, but if you are interested in attending or helping out please contact the organiser, Sean Denniston (1987) via email or by phone on (703) 271-0481.


Oxford keeps the top spot

Oxford has been named the UK's best University by the Complete University Guide for the third year running. The guide, compiled in association with the Independent newspaper, measures how universities perform on a range of nine indicators including research quality, degree results, spending on academic services, job prospects and overall student satisfaction. Read more...


More ways to connect with Univ

All Univ OMs using LinkedIn are invited to connect with the College and other OMs through our Univ LinkedIn group. LinkedIn provides a great way to network with other OMs and professionals, and exchange information, ideas and opportunities. It's free to join, so If you haven't got an account why not sign up today? Our special thanks are due to Chris Mammen (1993) who originally created the group and has put a in significant amount of effort to managing it over the past year. Join the Univ Old Members LinkedIn group.


Assessing the dead aid debate

Old Members who attended our recent Annual Seminar on whether or not aid to Africa was redundant may be interested to hear that Univ's Global Economic Governance Programme, led by the seminar's chair Prof Ngaire Woods, has now published 'The GEG Guide to the (Dead) Aid Debate'. The guide surveys the aid debate, looking beyond the well-known contributors to include voices from the margins, and is available to read online now.


Cuppers triumph for the College

Univ's rugby team stormed to victory against Keble in this year's Cuppers final, winning by 56 points to 15. As current league champions and winners of last year's Cuppers, Keble were favourites heading in to the game, but they could not answer the outstanding attacking performance from the Univ team which led them to victory in convincing style. Read Cherwell's match report here


Univ OM runs for Professor of Poetry

Sean Haldane (1961) is in the running to become the successor to Sir Christopher Ricks as Oxford's next Professor of Poetry. Sean works as a Consultant Neurologist for the NHS, but has also published several collections of poetry. If elected he wishes to "talk about the neuropsychology of poetry, poetry and verse, poetry and 'more-than-coincidence', poetry in different languages, and what Hardy called its 'sustaining power'." Nominations for the post close on May 5th, with voting taking place between May 16th and June 4th. All members of Convocation are eligible to vote and this year, for the first time ever, votes can be cast online. Read more...


Oxford campaign reaches £800m

Oxford Thinking, the fundraising campaign for the University of Oxford and the largest fundraising campaign in European University history, has now raised over £800m. This remarkable achievement puts Oxford well on the way to reaching its minimum campaign goal of £1.25bn. A gift to Univ also counts as a gift to Oxford Thinking, and your generous donations to the College have been extremely significant in helping reach this milestone. Read more...


Victory and defeat at Varsity races

Oxford's rowers had mixed fortunes during their recent clashes with Cambridge, with the women's boats racing to victory at Henley while the men's crew was narrowly defeated by the light blues on the Thames. The women's crews won all three races at the Annual Henley Boat Race in convincing style, including the 65th Women's Boat Race. On the the Thames, the men started strongly and led for much of the race, but could not respond to a late push by Cambridge which saw them move away to win by 1 1/3 lengths in a time of 17 mins 35 seconds. The women's Blue boat featured Univ's Aimee Campbell (2008), with Matthew Evans (2009) part of the men's crew.


News Notes & Networking Magazine 2010

All OMs are invited to submit their personal news, professional networking information and details of anything they may wish to advertise to the Univ community for inclusion in the second edition of our 'News, Notes & Networking' magazine. Either return the paper form which accompanied the Hilary edition of the Newsletter, or email your submission, along with a suitable photo should you wish, to Andrew by June 4th at the very latest. The magazine will accompany the Trinity edition of the Univ Newsletter.


Increase in offers to state school pupils

Oxford released a preliminary picture of its 2010 entry admissions round this month, with the figures showing that 56.4% of all UK offers were made to state school pupils, an increase on the 2009 figure and an indication that Oxford's extensive outreach and access work is paying off. Read more...


Assessing the dead aid debate

Old Members who attended our recent Annual Seminar on whether or not aid to Africa was redundant may be interested to hear that Univ's Global Economic Governance Programme, led by the seminar's chair Prof Ngaire Woods, has now published 'The GEG Guide to the (Dead) Aid Debate'. The guide surveys the aid debate, looking beyond the well-known contributors to include voices from the margins, and is available to read online now.


Choosing an electoral system

With the general election rapidly approaching former Univ Politics Fellow, Prof Ian McLean, has published a timely report examining the pros and cons of changing the system used for electing MPs in Britain. The report, published this month by the Royal Society, compares the main types of electoral systems now used around the world and discusses their implications for the British electorate and political parties. Read more...


North American Oxonian Reunion

The University-wide North American Reunion will take place over the weekend of 16-18 April 2010 at the Waldorf=Astoria, New York. The weekend involves drinks receptions, academic presentations including talks from Univ Fellows Prof. Tiffany Stern and Prof. Ngaire Woods, and a rare chance to view the Magna Carta. We have also organised a reception, dinner and brunch exclusively for Univ OMs, and have reserved a limited number of deluxe rooms at the New York Palace Hotel at a special Univ price. Click here for full event and booking details.


Vice-Chancellor's Civic Awards

Andrew Hamilton, the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, launched a new scheme this month designed to recognise students who have shown outstanding achievement in, and commitment to, the field of volunteering. The VC's Civic Awards aim to promote the positive impact of students on the community at both a local and national level. Nominations for the awards are taking place now, with the winners receiving leadership training and dinner with high profile alumni and key members of the University. Read more...


Back on the frontline

Prof. Christopher Bulstrode (1961), the Oxford doctor whom we recently featured in the Newsletter following his tour of duty as an army medic in Afghanistan, has been in the news again. In the wake of the Haiti earthquake, Prof. Bulstrode was part of an international team called to the disaster zone to provide much needed medical help and expertise. He recently recounted his experiences in various TV and newspaper interviews and on his blog site. Read more...


Beowulf Study Day at Univ

As part of our access programme, Univ hosted its first Beowulf Study Day for Year 12 students this month. Led by medieval English lecturer Dr Laura Varnam, the day aimed to introduce the poem, its language, historical context, and legacy in a fun and interactive way and consisted of a range of activities providing a taster of what it is like both to study Beowulf and English at university, including a lecture, a close reading session, and group work with current undergraduates. The day culminated in a special one-man performance of the poem by Peter Carrington-Porter (1973), whose rendition of the poem provided a dramatic, thrilling, and challenging interpretation of the Anglo-Saxon epic.


Oxford10 mentoring scheme

Oxford10, the University's pioneering mentoring scheme designed to provide connections between current students and recent graduates, is currently looking for volunteers. The scheme aims to make it easier for students to make the transition into work, by putting them in touch with Old Members who are a few years older and already in a job. Click here to find out more and get involved.


Oxford Alumni Weekend update

The dates of the next Oxford Alumni Weekend have now been confirmed as Friday 24th - Sunday 26th September. This year's weekend will be based around the theme 'Shared Treasures' and will allow alumni to explore the tens of millions of objects in the University's collections and the impact they have on academic disciplines at Oxford. Booking will open in May, and full details of the weekend's events programme will appear on in the near future.


Rugby success for Univ students

We are pleased to report that the University rugby 1st team now contains no less than four current Univ students. Nick Haydon (2009) is currently captaining the Blues, while Louis Mather (2008), James Gibson (2009) and Thomas Yusef (2007) also feature in the starting line ups. The team has started Hilary term in impressive style, with a recent victory of 38-14 against the RAF.


Teaching awards for Univ Fellows

The exceptional quality of teaching at Univ was recognised towards the end of last term when Prof Adrian Zuckerman (Law) and Dr John Wheater (Physics) were presented with teaching awards by the University. Prof Zuckerman received his award for "outstanding teaching and commitment to teaching" following nomination by several of his students. Dr Wheater was highly praised for his "distinctive style in lecturing" and "clear and insightful" teaching methods.


Univ's record-breaking telethon

January saw Univ run its most successful telethon campaign to date, with its student callers telephoning nearly 900 Old Members across the globe to find out their latest news, update them on recent College developments, trade Univ experiences, and invite their support for the Annual Fund. Thanks to the generosity of our Old Members and the dedication of the callers a staggering £343,000 was raised over the two-week calling period, with further support coming in every day. 72.7% of those reached by our callers pledged to make a gift, a figure far above the Oxford average and one of which we are very proud. The College is extremely grateful for all gifts made, which are so important for Univ's current and future commitments, especially during this uncertain financial climate.


Replacing cheques with mobile tech

A team led by Univ Senior Research Fellow Prof. Bill Roscoe (1975) have developed technology allowing the secure transfer of money via mobile phone. The system, which works in almost all payment situations, could prove to be the perfect replacement for cheques, which are now due to be phased out of the UK by 2018. Read more...


Admissions at Univ

Throughout December we have welcomed hundreds of applicants to the College for interviews for undergraduate courses starting in October 2010 (and in some cases 2011). Univ received 625 first-choice applicants this year, compared with 494 in 2008 -- an increase of 27%, the second-highest in the University. Across the board, the University received 17,085 applications by the UCAS deadline of 15 October, compared with 15,277 last year, representing a 12% increase.


Public services in the 2010s

A team of Oxford social scientists including former Univ Fellow Prof. Iain McLean have presented their key findings on the quality, performance and delivery of public services in the UK, following a five-year research programme. It is anticipated that their findings will prove important in an era when resources are likely to be cut and provide valuable lessons for future times. Read more...


Honour for Univ Archivist

Univ's Archivist Dr Robin Darwall-Smith (1982) has been elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a significant achievement in the field of heritage. Proposals for membership can only come from existing Fellows of the Society, and to be elected it is necessary to be 'excelling in the knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other nations' and be 'desirous to promote the honour, business and emoluments of the Society'. Read more...


Légion d'Honneur for Univ Fellow

In a recent ceremony in London, Univ Fellow and Director of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise, Professor Sir David King, was awarded the Légion d'Honneur (Officier) in recognition of his contribution to climate change science and his role in improving Anglo-French relations. The award, presented by the French Ambassador on behalf of President Sarkozy, is one of the highest decorations in France. Read more...


2010 Boat Race preparations

OMs interested in Oxford's 2010 Boat Race squad can now keep up to date with news of the team via a new series of internet blogs. will feature regular written and video updates from both Oxford and Cambridge rowers and focus on all aspects of the squad's preparation from the initial training sessions right up to race day on April 3rd.


Uniting against injustice

Univ Fellow Professor Ngaire Woods chaired a special roundtable discussion at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative this month. The high profile panel included Nobel laureate economist Professor Amartya Sen and focussed on issues such as how economics could be used in the fight against injustice and to empower and protect citizens. Read more...

Technology transfer and climate change

In a new paper, Dr Arunabha Ghosh and Dr Kevin Watkins of Univ's Global Economic Governance Programme have argued that rich countries should pay to transfer low carbon technology to the developing world in a bid to avoid dangerous climate change. They argue that their technology transfer proposals hold the key to reaching a 'substantive agreement' at the fast approaching Copenhagen climate change summit. Read more...


College history back on sale

As mentioned in the last issue of E-news, Oxford University Press is issuing a reprint of A History of University College, Oxford, by our archivist, Dr Robin Darwall-Smith (1982), as all copies of the first printing are now sold out. Once again the book will be available to OMs at a special discount price of £50. Click here for more info and ordering details.


An insight into the Oxford interview

Oxford University has recently released sample interview questions to provoke reflection and shed light on even the most peculiar-sounding questions. Prof Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, explained 'we are keen to show the reality of an admissions interview at Oxford'. He was keen to stress that there are no right or wrong answers to questions like 'Why might it be useful for an English student to read the Twilight series?', but rather their purpose is as a starting point for developing a discussion to see how candidates think. Read more...



News of the College History

A History of University College, Oxford, by our Archivist, Robin Darwall-Smith (1982), which was published by OUP last year, has already sold out. Old Members who have yet to purchase copies need not be disappointed however, as the College has commissioned a reprint. Please look out for details on how to order your copy in the next edition of E-News.


Cuts in funding for historic buildings

It was revealed this month that universities such as Oxford and Cambridge face a dramatic funding cut under government-backed plans to scrap a budget that helps pay for the maintenance of historic buildings. The plans, which are part of savings being made to reduce the government's universities budget in preparation for a downturn in public spending, would have a serious impact on Oxford's finances. This year the University received £5.14m to help preserve its iconic architecture. Read more...


New Vice Chancellor's inaugural address

Andrew Hamilton, Oxford's new Vice Chancellor, underlined Oxford's commitment to excellence in his inaugural speech as Vice Chancellor. He stressed that in his new post his aim was to protect the 'twin Oxford jewels - the collegiate structure and the tutorial system' and that this commitment to excellence must be 'defended against political opportunism and crude social engineering'. Read more...


Secrets of insect flight revealed

A team of Oxford researchers including former Univ JRF Graham Taylor have discovered what makes insect wings so efficient when compared to rigid, man-made aircraft wings. Using high speed video cameras and computer modelling the team were able to run simulations to discover how the wings deliver the performance needed for tiny insects to complete intercontinental flights. Read more...


Tough times for researchers

A recent study has shown that academics at top universities such as Oxford are finding it increasingly difficult to secure research grants. The top twenty UK universities secured 14% fewer grants than in 2007-8, with an increased amount of money being directed towards research at post-1992 universities.  Read more...


Oxford tops Times league table

Oxford University has topped this year's Sunday Times university league table, knocking Cambridge off the top spot for the first time in 11 years. The newspaper also awarded Oxford the title of 'University of the Year'. For the first time ever Oxford now tops all this year's league tables, having been listed first in those published by the Times, Independent and Guardian. Read more...


Oxford Alumni Weekend

The 50th anniversary of Oxford's former all-women’s colleges gaining full collegiate status was celebrated this weekend at the 3rd annual Oxford Alumni Weekend. The weekend featured a programme of over 120 events with several high profile Oxonians returning to speak on a variety of issues. Photos, podcasts and much more from the weekend are now available on the Oxford website. Read more....


One million hits for Oxford's iTunes store

Over one million downloads have now been made from the University's iTunes U store, despite the store being less than a year old. The site contains over 500 free to download audio and video podcasts, including lectures, interviews with academics and advice for prospective students on applying to study at Oxford.  Read more...


Univ Fellow wins Leverhulme Award

The recipients of the 2009 Leverhulme Awards have been announced, with Univ's Dr Ben Jackson, Fellow and Praelector in British History, receiving a Research Fellowship. The Leverhulme Trust is one of the largest providers of research funding in the UK, distributing £40m annually. Awards are distributed based on the originality and significance of the proposed work. Read more...


Ocean research rewarded by Royal Society

Prof Gideon Henderson, Univ's Sollas Fellow and Praelector in Geology, was awarded one of the Royal Society's Theo Murphy Blue Skies Awards in recognition of his novel and groundbreaking research. Prof Henderson plans to use the award of over £44,000 to build, test and deploy equipment designed to further our understanding of ocean flows at the sea floor. Read more...


Debating triumph for Univ student

Current graduate student Jonathan Leader Maynard (2008) represented Oxford in the recent European Universities Debating Competition in Newcastle, the largest debating competition in Europe. Jonathan performed exceptionally, helping Oxford to defeat teams from major European universities and retain the trophy for the second year in succession. As a testament to Jonathan's skills he was declared the best speaker of the entire tournament by the judges.


Norrington Table 2009

The College had cause for celebration this month as the results of the interim 2009 Norrington Table were revealed. Univ has risen up the table to 7th, an improvement of 10 places on last year, with an overall score of 72.74%. Read more...


Shedding light on Lewis' unpublished work

A short piece of writing by C S Lewis, one of Univ's most famous OMs, has been in the media eye this month after academics revealed it could be the start of an unpublished book Lewis was co-authoring with J R R Tolkien. The book, provisionally titled Language and Human Nature, was scheduled for publication in 1950, but until now scholars believed that the pair had never actually commenced writing.  Read more...


Admissions and access news

50 school children from across the country recently came to Univ for the first Shelley Study Day. The pupils spent the day learning about the poet and viewing the College's collection of his manuscripts, as well as participating in activities and talks with current tutors. Read more...


British Academy elects new Fellows

Univ Emeritus Fellow and Oxford Regius Professor of Greek Chris Pelling was one of seven Oxford academics to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy at the end of July. A total of 38 new fellowships were awarded by the academy to recognise and honour distinguished achievements in the field of humanities and social sciences. Read more...


Triathlon success for Univ's ironmen

OM Acer Nethercott (1996), recent graduate Howat Duncan (2005) and current student Tom Walker (2006) completed an Ironman Triathlon in Nice in July to raise funds for the John Radcliffe's Cardiac Centre Campaign. They all successfully finished the gruelling race in spite of searing heat, exhaustion and the fact that this was Howat's first ever open water swim or marathon.


The wall of 100 faces

Oxford recently launched the Wall of 100 Faces, a series of short videos featuring current students talking about their time at the University. The wall aims to show prospective students, staff and the media what an 'average Oxford student' is like and highlight the great wealth of diversity within the University, hopefully dispelling some of the Oxford myths and stereotypes that still persist. Watch the videos...


Oxford tops the table again

Oxford has been named Britain's leading University by the Times Good University Guide for the 8th consecutive year. Better staffing levels, degree classifications and higher spending on student facilities helped Oxford to stretch its lead over Cambridge. Read more...


Spend today, save tomorrow

In an opinion piece for The Independent Sir David King, Univ Fellow and Director of the Smith School for Enterprise, highlights how an increase in spending now could significantly reduce the cost of dealing with climate change in the future. Read more...


Birthday honours for Univ OMs

The work and achievements of three Univ Old Members were recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June. Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion (1971) received a knighthood for services to literature and Desmond Bowen (1967) was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath. Michael Reeve (1955) was awarded an MBE for charitable services. Congratulations to them all!


The cost of complacency

As we draw closer to July's G8 summit in Italy Dr Kevin Watkins, Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Univ's Global Economic Governance Programme comments on worrying changes to the policy and attitude of some of the G8's key players, and how this could impact on the provision of aid to Africa. Read more...


Managing natural resources

The recent Summit on Business Ethics and Responsibility in Oslo saw Oxford professors working together with high profile international governance figures, including Univ alumnus Festus Mogae (1965), former President of Botswana, to develop the Natural Resource Charter, a set of principles advising the governments and societies of developing countries on how best to use natural resource wealth to benefit their citizens. Read more...


New donor recognition society launched

May saw the launch of the Vice Chancellor's Circle, a new donor society in recognition of the very generous support of many donors to the collegiate University. Univ OM Geoffrey Robertson (1970) chaired a debate at the inaugural VCC dinner, entitled 'Poetry is Beautiful, but Science is What Matters’. Read more...


Volcanic eruptions underestimated

In 2008, Univ's Dr Tamsin Mather (Special Supernumerary Fellow in Earth Sciences) and a team of Oxford scientists raced to Chile weeks after the Chaitén Volcano erupted in order to collect valuable data on ash fallout. Recently the team returned to the area to discover how much of their original findings had been destroyed by the elements, demonstrating the difficulty involved in assessing and estimating the impact of past eruptions. Read more...


Cuppers triumph for the College

Univ's Rugby League team emerged victorious from a hard fought final against Brasenose to lift the Waterfield-Wordsworth trophy at Oxford's Iffley Road stadium at the end of May. The team attributed their success to a rock-solid defence; they did not concede a single point in the first three matches of the competition. Captain Will Robertson (2008) described the victory as a 'fitting end to a highly successful season for Univ rugby'.


Let us know your news & notes

If you haven't already done so there is still time to submit your personal news, professional networking information and details of anything you may wish to advertise to the Univ community for inclusion in our new News, Notes & Networking magazine. Email your submission, along with a suitable photo should you wish, to Andrew by June 10th at the latest. The magazine will accompany the Trinity edition of the Univ Newsletter.


2009 Oxford Alumni Weekend

Booking for this year's Alumni Weekend, entitled Meeting Minds: An Equal Citizenship opens today and, due to the popularity of last year's event, any OMs wishing to attend are encouraged to register as soon as possible. The university-wide event takes place on the 25th-27th September. Read more...


Summer schools to expand

By 2014 Oxford University will be able to offer 1,000 summer school places to high-performing sixteen and seventeen year olds from state schools and colleges. The summer schools allow pupils to spend a week experiencing life at Oxford, and are an invaluable way of encouraging talented students to apply to university. Read more...


The cost of climate change

In an interview with the BBC Univ Fellow Professor Sir David King has spoken of his belief that the government is being misled by economic assessments of the impact of climate change. Prof King argues that advisory teams are underestimating the true cost of tackling the problem, leading to poor investments as a result. Read more...


1997-2000 Gaudy

Over 150 1997-2000 matriculands returned to College on the weekend of the 18-19th April for a special gaudy reunion. Guests enjoyed drinks in the Butler and Alington Rooms and dined in the full to capacity hall before continuing the celebrations in the refurbished Univ Bar. Click here for photos...


Changes at the MPC

Univ OM Prof David Miles (1978), who wrote the Miles Report into the mortgage market in 2004, was this month appointed to the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England. The Commission is charged with setting interest rates and faces tough challenges ahead. In an article in The Times Prof Miles talks about his career and how there 'couldn't be a more interesting and difficult time' to take on his new role. Read more...


New site for Bodleian depository

It has been announced that millions of books will soon be leaving their home in Oxford as they are moved to the Bodleian Library's new depository on the edge of Swindon. Work will start in the autumn on the construction of a massive warehouse to store 8 million volumes, alleviating the problem caused by the library's massive growth rate. At present the Bodleian's collection is expanding at the rate of 5,000 books per week. Read more...


Infinity award for Univ OM

The work of Aveek Sen (1989) was commended this month by the International Center of Photography as he became the recipient of a prestigious 2009 Infinity Award for his writing on the subject. Described by master photographer Dayanita Singh as “the finest writer on photography”, Aveek's work currently concentrates on the intersections of photography, literature, cinema, and the other visual arts. The awards, now in their 25th year, will be presented to the winners on May 12th in Manhattan. Read more...


Oxford win 2009 Boat Race

Univ's Tom Solesbury (2008) was part of the Oxford crew who rowed to victory against Cambridge in the 155th Boat Race at the weekend. The dark blues won by three and a half lengths and completed the race in a time of 17 minutes exactly. The Oxford crew was the heaviest in the history of the race and consisted of five Olympians, with Tom having represented Great Britain in Beijing 2008. This was Oxford's 4th victory in the last five years, and the 7th in the last 10. Read more....


Roz Savage – Eco-Adventurer

Ocean rower Roz Savage (1986) has been in the public eye again this month after presenting her 'Eco-Adventurer' short film at the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, clips of which can be viewed here. Roz is preparing the second stage of her attempt to become the first ever woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean. Read more...


Stiff competition for university places

Vice-Chancellors of UK universities have warned of intense competition for places, with applications rising sharply from previous years to record levels. The boom has in part been triggered by older applicants seeing academia as a way to escape the recession and re-emerge into the job market better-qualified when conditions improve. Applications to Oxford and Cambridge rose 9.9% on last year, with a 7.8% increase overall. Economic conditions may also be affecting degree choices, with a significant rise in applications to read maths and economics. Read more...


Mooting success for Univ student

Univ student Ailene Chou (2007, Law) was part of the Oxford team that defeated UCL this month to become UK champions in an international Law Moot Court Competition. The Jessup Moot is the largest such mooting tournament in the world, with nearly 600 teams from 90 countries competing for the prestigious title. The Oxford team won all six of their moots in the grand final, which was judged by a panel of 7 leading international lawyers, chaired by Lord Bingham. The students will now go on to represent the UK in the World Championship in Washington DC. Read more...


Conflict and climate change

In a lecture as part of the University's celebration of Charles Darwin's 200th birthday, Univ Fellow Sir David King warned of the global challenges we face as resources become scarcer and more difficult to obtain due to the dual impact of population growth and climate change. He argued that, although future historians will see the conflict in Iraq as the first resource war of the 21st Century, energy supplies could have been secured at a fraction of the cost of the war by investing in renewable energy. Read more...


Univ OM in the spotlight...

In January the Royal British Society of Sculptors exhibited the work of Christine Lobb (2000), one of five artists short-listed for the society's First @ 108 Public Art Award. The award aims to promote excellence and innovation in public art, whilst providing emerging talent with the opportunity to develop the necessary experience, confidence and track record to extend their practice into competing for public art commissions. Chris' work explores the tensions that arise from close examination of an object’s function, with a focus on the paradoxical ideas of fragility and protection. She has already won several awards including the Stour Valley Arts Student Bursary Award in 2006. Read more...


Armando steps out of the shadows

Alongside fellow Univ OM Jon Plowman (1971), Armando Iannucci (1982) has been responsible for some of the most popular British television comedies to date; but he has always stayed relatively clear of the spotlight. Now the creative force behind shows such as I'm Alan Partridge has entered the limelight with the critically-acclaimed film In The Loop and the satirical opera on the subject of plastic surgery Skin Deep. He recently talked to The Times about his latest works, his time at Univ and his career in the world of comedy.  Read more...


Nanotechnology developments at Oxford

Prof Andrew Turberfield (Univ lecturer 1990-2) has led a team of Oxford scientists in the development of a revolutionary two-legged molecular machine known as a nanobot that can walk unaided along a single strand of DNA. The team's work is far more successful than anything developed to date, as unlike earlier attempts their nanobot does not wander aimlessly, fall off its track, or destroy its track while it walks. The researchers believe that one day the machine could be used to shift cargo around so called 'nanofactories'. Read more...


Past and current members help future generations

This January, for the eighth time, students telephoned almost 1,000 OMs across the globe to find out their latest news, update them on recent College developments, trade Univ experiences, and invite their support for the  Annual Fund. Thank you to everyone who took part! Students chatted about the new Master's arrival and the impact of the kitchen, buttery and bar refurbishment, and in return received lots of careers help and, in one case, the offer of a villa in Mexico! Thanks to OMs' generosity, and the dedication of the 21 callers, £262,350 was raised over two weeks, with further support coming in each day. 70.6% of those reached pledged gifts, which is so important to the College's current and future commitments and aspirations during this difficult financial period.


The 'toughest footrace on the planet'

On 26th March Univ students Adam Park and Tom Lickiss (both 2005) will start a gruelling 6 day ultra-marathon across the Sahara Desert, known as the Marathon Des Sables. Along with 800 other contestants the pair will run 150 miles in just 6 days, the equivalent of 5 1/2 regular marathons. Rationed to just 7 litres of water a day, they will need to carry with them everything they need for the entire race including food, clothes, sleeping gear and medical equipment.   Read more...


Giving vision to the developing world

Retired Oxford physicist Prof. Joshua Silver has designed a pair of glasses which may help one billion people in the developing world to see properly within the next decade. The glasses, which can be adjusted without the help of an optician, have thin sacs of liquid within each lens and allow the wearer to alter lens thickness by injecting or removing tiny amounts of the liquid using syringes. Although describing the original idea as 'a glimpse of the obvious', it has taken Prof. Silver 20 years to develop a design which can be made cheaply on a large scale. The eventual aim is to help 100 million people a year receive spectacles for the first time. Read more...

An end is in sight for allergy sufferers

Pioneering research at Oxford could soon help to alleviate the misery of the 1 in 5 people in industrialised countries who suffer from allergies. The work, led by Univ OM Prof Anant Parekh (1985), has increased our understanding of the cells in the body responsible for orchestrating allergic reactions, and has allowed the researchers to block a key trigger of reactions by focusing their efforts on drugs that target elements of the cellular processes involved. The knowledge has allowed the development of new kinds of treatment, and could eventually be used in the area of asthma. Read more...


Univ OM in the spotlight...

Prof Christopher Bulstrode (1968) normally plies his trade in the relatively safe environment of Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, but last year, following a dare from his wife, found himself serving in Afghanistan as a Major in the Territorial Army. In an interview with the Oxford Mail, he describes the heroism he encountered and the challenges he faced during his nine-month tour which served to renew his enthusiasm for clinical medicine. Read more....

Should you have any news items to tell us about or any questions concerning the news snippets featured above, please contact Sara Dewsbery.
















































































































































































































































































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