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Will Oxford’s new Vice Chancellor solve the problem of political prejudice in the administration of the University ?

Oxford’s famous Sheldonian Theatre hosted two fascinating lectures this term. The first was delivered by an Emeritus Regius Professor while the other was delivered by the Prime Minister of a European Union member State. The subject matter of both lectures was political. The first was delivered by a self identified Burkean Conservative, while the other…

Will incoming Vice Chancellor Irene Tracey investigate the evidence of aberration at Oxford and take corrective action ?

The University of Oxford recently released the news that medical scientist Dr Irene Tracey, currently Warden of Merton College, has been nominated as the next Vice Chancellor of the University. # In the announcement outlining her profile and nomination, the work of Vice Chancellor is described as: The Vice-Chancellor is Oxford University’s senior officer, responsible…

Is Oxford university’s role intellectual or political?

Just what does a university exist to do ? Does it exist to promote a particular philosophy or political programme ? Does it exist to make society more equal and just ? Well, the purpose declared in documents like Statutes indicates universities exist to promote research, learning and teaching – sometimes religion too because of…

Should Oxford dons keep their word or are they privileged ?

Should we keep our word, our promised commitment? We all know that we should, and we all know that there are times when we don’t. Sometimes we have reasonable excuses, but they tend to revolve around releasing ourselves from our obligations or duties. In doing so, we fail to consider others – their interests, their…

Review and repent – or persist and pay an even higher price ?

University of Oxford Vice Chancellor, Louise Richardson, moves on from Oxford at the end of her seven year term on December 31st 2022. She will then be 64 years old, but has been engaged by the Carnegie Corporation as its first female President from January 1st 2023. She is also the first woman to hold…

Congratulations Oxford but beware hubris

The University of Oxford has again been awarded “top spot” in the Times Higher Education global rankings for Universities. This is the 6th year running and coincides with Louise Richardson’s term as Vice Chancellor. Cause and effect ? Coincidence ?  I do not doubt that Louise Richardson herself will see this as a team effort;…

concern for public welfare or corporate empire building ?

The more I look at the management of the University of Oxford, the more I begin to wonder about the philosophy informing policy. Is it objective, all round research and education, or is it promoting big ideas and corporate interests which enhance the reputations of those making the proposals ?           …

Centenary celebration or political aspiration ?

“Women Making History: Shaping Oxford’s Next Century” was a panel discussion with Q&A moderated by Reeta Chakrabarti of the BBC. It was held in the Sheldonian Theatre and livestreamed on the internet. [750 words] The political and philosophical agenda was implicit in the title, the setting, the choice of moderator and the selection of panellists.…

Equality and inequality at Oxford

[650 words]  What is the role and purpose of a University ? Academic research and education ? Social engineering and political indoctrination ? Indeed, is it possible to make a clear distinction between the academic and educational on the one hand, and the implementation of a philosophical agenda on the other ? Doesn’t history indicate…

Does St George embarrass Oxford ?

[750 words]    Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished everyone a Happy St George’s Day yesterday. He felt, however, the need to reassure people that it was alright to celebrate St George’s Day and raise a glass, “without embarrassment and without shame”. Most people will understand why he felt the need to issue such a reassurance.…

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