St Catherine's College (Oxford)

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St Catherine's College
motto Nova et Vetera (The New and the Old)
founding 1962
Sponsorship Oxford University
place Oxford
country United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
master Kersti Börjars
Students 908 (2019)
Undergraduates : 495
Postgraduates : 413
Foundation assets £ 84.8 million (2018)
Website Homepage

The St. Catherine's College (aka Catz ) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in Oxford , England , and the youngest college, bachelor are taught as well as postgraduate students at the both. The college's roots date back to 1868, although it didn't open until 1962 itself. As of December 2017, it had 502 undergraduate and 442 postgraduate students. This makes it the largest college at the University of Oxford to offer undergraduate programs ( Kellogg College has 1,193 students compared to St. Catherine's College 908, but only offers postgraduate programs).

The college developed out of the “Delegacy for Unattached Students” at Oxford University and was founded in 1962 by the historian Alan Bullock , who later became the college's first Masters and vice-chancellor of the university.


The college goes back to the Scholares Non Ascripti or "Delegacy for Unattached Students" founded by statute of June 11, 1868 . This was founded in 1852 as part of an expansion of the university on the recommendation of a Royal Commission and enabled male students to attend Oxford without having to pay the cost of college membership. The college therefore celebrated its 150th anniversary in the 2018–2019 academic year, at the same time as the 2018 “Continuum” ball.

The Delegacy for Unattached Students was originally headed by two censors, George Kitchin and George S. Ward, who were responsible for the administration and welfare of the students. In October 1868 , nineteen students enrolled as Scholares Non Ascripti , the number of which increased to a total of 49 students in the course of the year. By 1914, more than 4,000 men were enrolled as non-college students. In 1884 the delegation was renamed "Delegacy for Non-Collegiate Students". Due to the lack of an identifying name for social and sporting purposes, groups within the delegacy used the name “St. Catharine's ”taken from a boating club meeting hall on Catte Street. In 1931 the delegacy was officially established in “St. Catherine's Society ”, with the spelling in“ St. Catherine's ”was changed. This name also refers to St. Catherine of Alexandria , also recognizable in the coat of arms of the college, which shows four wheels , one of the hallmarks of St. Catherine. The Society developed characteristics of a college in this way, which is why in 1956 it decided to formalize this change of status by gaining approval to transform itself into a full college.

Following the purchase of 8 acres of Merton College , Oxford on part of Holywell Great Meadow for £ 57,690 , funds were sought from the University Grants Committee, which also agreed to provide £ 250,000 for the building and additional funding of up to £ 400,000 for all facilities . By 1960 Sir Alan Bullock raised another million pounds with the assistance of industrialists Sir Alan Wilson and Sir Hugh Beaver. The college opened in 1962 after spending a total of £ 2.5 million. In 1974, St. Catherine's was one of the first men's colleges to accept women as full members, along with Brasenose , Jesus , Hertford, and Wadham Colleges.


Jacobsen's custom-made furniture and lighting in the hall
Student accommodation

Original building

The college is east of central Oxford on the banks of the River Cherwell . The buildings made of glass and concrete by the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen combine modern materials with a traditional floor plan around a square (English: quadrangle). Jacobsen's design also included cutlery, furniture and lampshades. The dining room is characterized by its Cumberland slate floor.

The original buildings were listed as a historical monument in 1993 . Jacobsen's plans for the College did not contain chapel: The St. Cross Church on the corner of Manor Road and Long Wall Street served that purpose until its closure in 2008. The Christmas concert by the St. Catherine is now in the chapel of Harris Manchester College held . The college has a clearly visible bell tower, as no college building is more than three stories high. Most of the apartment blocks were reportedly to have an additional floor, but this was removed from the final design due to regulations for building on marshland.

St. Catherine's has a number of lecture halls and seminar rooms, a music house, two student computer rooms, a small gym, squash courts, a boathouse and one of the most spacious common rooms in Oxford. There are also additional conference facilities with lecture halls, meeting rooms and parking spaces for non-students on the college grounds. The 350-seat dining room has the largest capacity of any college in Oxford.

Most of the buildings of St. Catherine's College are furnished with student rooms and offices and have direct access to the college's quarters . St. Catherin's is characterized by a minimalist, rather austere environment that is nonetheless comfortable.

Extensions in 1994 and 2004

In 1994 and 2004, the college completed construction of the student accommodation designed by Hodder and Partners. This means that most students can reside on the main college campus for the duration of their studies. Previously, undergraduate students had to live off campus for the second year. These new buildings effectively create a second square that is mainly used as conference accommodation between academic semesters.

Postgraduate Building

The Ainsworth Graduate Center is named in honor of Roger Ainsworth, the college's former Masters. Construction began in July 2018 and is expected to be completed in autumn 2020. The center will include 78 en-suite single rooms and a new common room. These are in addition to the 42 single rooms with shared bathroom and cooking facilities in St. Catherine's House, which is located outside Bath Street.

Student life

St. Catherine's College is one of the colleges that accepts the most undergraduate and postgraduate students: for the 2018-2019 academic year, it accepted postgraduate students in 2015. The college can offer students accommodation on their campus for the entire three years of their studies.

The college celebrates its patron saint every year with a special dinner called "Catz Night," attended by junior and senior members of the college. The college also hosts a ball every three years, usually off-campus as it is unsuitable due to insurance requirements. St. Catherine's is also known for its modernity. For example, it was agreed that students no longer have to get up as soon as the master enters the hall at a formal dinner, although most students still continue this practice out of respect.

The college also has various sports and music and cultural facilities on the college grounds, including squash courts, a gym, a punt house, a music house, and theater. There are also several clubs and societies, such as the "Music Society", orchestras, choirs, a "Dramatic Society" and subject-specific societies.

The Wallace Watson Award is a travel grant given annually to students or groups of students to undertake an expedition to a remote region of the world.

Academic reputation

St Catherine's position on the Norrington Table from 2006 to 2016

St. Catherine's College's performance at the Norrington Table has improved in recent years. In 2019, the college took 2nd place with a score of 77.93%. In 2018, the college was ranked 3rd with 78.15%, up from its 26th place, which it achieved in 2017 with a score of 68.68%.


The St. Catherine's College Boat Club is the college's rowing club. British Olympic gold medalists Sir Matthew Pinsent and Andrew Triggs Hodge, and silver medalist Colin Smith all rowed for college.

Well-known alumni (selection)

Censors, Masters and Fellows

List of censors

A list of the censors of the “Delegacy for Unattached Students”, the “Delegacy for Non-Collegiate Students” and the St. Catherine's Society.

List of Masters

List of Christensen Fellows

The Christensen Fellowship is awarded to distinguished academic attendees who are members of their national academy - equivalent to the Royal Society and the British Academy in the UK - or who are expected to meet this standard if they are at an earlier stage in their academic career.



  • M. & D. Davies Creating St Catherine's College. St Catherine's College, Oxford 1997, ISBN 0-9531279-0-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Student Statistics - College Breakdown. University of Oxford , 2019, accessed June 23, 2020 (UK English).
  2. St Catherine's College: Financial Statements: Year ended 31 July 2018. (PDF) In: P. 22 , accessed March 5, 2019 .
  3. About Us. In: St Catherine's College. Retrieved May 29, 2020 (American English).
  4. Student numbers | University of Oxford. Retrieved May 29, 2020 .
  5. ^ University of Oxford - Student Statistics. Retrieved June 23, 2020 .
  6. Stat. Tit. II. Sect. II. Cl. I Addenda ad Corpus Statutorum Universitatis Oxoniensis, p. 754, limited preview in the Google book search
  7. ^ College History. In: St Catherine's College, Oxford. Retrieved January 19, 2018 .
  8. ^ Trotman, RR & Garrett, EJK The Non-Collegiate Students and St Catherine's Society 1868–1962 (Oxford University Press, 1962)
  9. ^ Report of the Delegati ad aedes licentiandas, (Oxford, June 1869) pp. 6-7
  10. ^ Alan Bullock : Nineteenth-century Oxford. Part 2 . In: Michael G. Brock, MC Cuthoys (Ed.): The history of the University of Oxford . tape 7 , 2000, ISBN 978-0-19-951017-7 , 7 'A Scotch University added to Oxford'? The Non-Collegiate Students, S. 207 .
  11. ^ College History. In: St Catherine's College. Retrieved June 3, 2020 (American English).
  12. 29 Broad Street, Oxford , accessed July 22, 2020
  13. ^ College History. In: St. Catherine's College, Oxford website. Archived from the original on November 9, 2006 ; Retrieved May 13, 2007 .
  14. ^ Women at Oxford. University of Oxford , accessed June 12, 2016 .
  15. Listed Buildings Online - St Catherines College, Podium And All Buildings Upon It. In: Heritage Gateway. Retrieved September 16, 2008 .
  16. Buildings and Grounds - University of Oxford, accessed April 3, 2018 .
  17. ^ A New Home for Catz Graduates. In: St Catherine's College. June 28, 2019, Retrieved February 22, 2020 (American English).
  18. a b c d e St Catherine's College. In: University of Oxford, accessed February 22, 2020 .
  19. ^ Camilla Turner, Greg Ritchie: Oxford College abandons tradition of standing to address dons at formal dinners. In: The Telegraph. January 24, 2019; Retrieved July 30, 2019 (UK English).
  20. ^ Undergraduate Degree Classifications. In: University of Oxford, accessed February 22, 2020 .
  21. James Ashworth: St John's Tops The 2018 Norrington Table. In: The Oxford Student. The Oxford Student, accessed August 20, 2018 .
  22. ^ St Catherine's Society., accessed December 11, 2018 .
  23. ^ Professor Peter Battle elected Pro-Master. St Catherine's College, Oxford. Retrieved March 28, 2019 .
  24. Professor Kersti Börjars Appointed as New Master. St Catherine's College, Oxford, accessed June 19, 2019 .