Tag Archives: higher education

President Post – Delivering the Oxford Experience

There have been several reports recently about mature and part-time students having lost out with the new arrangements for student funding – see for example Peter Scott’s ‘Adult education the loser in a game only young, full-time students win’.

It’s therefore particularly appropriate that the one college in Oxford that was founded with the particular mission and purpose of supporting part-time and mature students should be celebrating its first, fantastically successful, 25 years.  Founded in 1990, this year will see a range of events to mark both our achievements and our ambition, including a June 27th Garden Party to which all College friends are welcome to attend.

The continued success of Kellogg College is due in large part to the quality of the part-time degree programmes that most of our students are taking.  The proven excellence of these degree programmes has led to increased demand for places.  In some cases it has been possible to respond to this by expanding the programmes.  These achievements have also sent a strong signal across the University of Oxford – part-time degrees really can deliver the same high level of quality and excellence which Oxford requires and depends upon.  This in turn has led to more departments wishing to pursue this option.

Thus, while Kellogg does have 240 full-time students, our part-time numbers have continued to grow, currently to 627, making 867 students in total – by far the largest graduate college in Oxford in terms of student numbers, and twice the number of graduates that most colleges have.

But it is true that this continued success has been in the face of many obstacles.  As a graduate only college, we have suffered along with others at the complete failure of the Browne Review – which led to the £9,000 fees for undergraduates – to even consider post-graduate students, despite that having been included in their remit.

Now, eventually, a loan arrangement is to be introduced for postgraduate students.  But it is going to discriminate quite explicitly on grounds of age.  Anyone over 30 can forget it – you have been ruled out already.  You will not be allowed access to the loan arrangement.  Even in Oxford, I’m sorry to say that some other colleges explicitly rule out part-time students from their scholarships.

The conclusion is clear.  We must use our 25th Anniversary to redouble our fundraising efforts, to provide scholarship and other support to our students, including enhancing our library and other facilities.  We have launched a ‘1990 Club’ to mark our Foundation Year, for those able and willing to commit £1990 to the future success of our students and College.  I’m delighted to be able to report that we have already had friends of the College signing up.  This will ensure that our students – including those having to study part-time – will continue to enjoy financial support from the College, along with the sort of college facilities that makes the Oxford experience so special.

Jonathan Michie, March 2015

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A Word from our President – Supporting Research Students

Oxford is putting increasing emphasis and resources into doctoral training, with impressive success in attracting additional national funding towards this end.  I’m delighted to say that Kellogg fellows have been at the forefront of these successful developments.  Most impressive during the past academic year has been Oxford’s success in winning Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding for new Centres for Doctoral Training, including Kellogg Fellows Andrew Martin for Cyber Security and Niki Trigoni for Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems, as well as the continued success and development of Charlotte Deane’s Centre for Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science.

The Medical Science Division’s Clinical Graduate School is led by Kellogg Fellow Chris Pugh, and the Social Sciences Division has just launched a centre for doctoral training, led by Kellogg Fellow David Mills.  The Continuing Education Graduate School is led by Kellogg Fellow Adrian Stokes, and this welcomes research students from across the University to its events and activities – which of course are designed to suit part-time students with other demands on their time – but in practice this description often applies to full-time graduates students in other departments, so it is no surprise to see them attracted to events put on to cater to those with busy lives.  Indeed, the Social Sciences doctoral training centre is developing online research methods material in collaboration with Continuing Education, and this is being led by Martin Ruhs – another Kellogg Fellow.

Of course, these developments are departmentally based, but the new centres for doctoral training did have to receive backing from colleges as part of their funding bids, and Kellogg was pleased to agree to give such support.

We look forward to welcoming students at these centres to Kellogg, and to hosting many of the seminars, workshops, conferences and training events that the centres for doctoral training will be organising.

As a graduate college we have a particular duty and interest in supporting graduate students.  And as the primary collegiate base for the University’s part-time graduate students, we have a mission to ensure that part-time students receive the very best Oxford experience.  It is thus no accident that Kellogg fellows have been working so hard – and successfully – at improving Oxford’s support for research students, both full-time and part-time.

Jonathan Michie