St Hilda's College, Oxford

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St Hilda's College

St Hilda's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England.

The college was founded in 1893 as a hall for women, and remained an all-women's college until 2006.[1]

The college is located in Cowley Place, and is the most easterly of all the university's colleges. It consists of six major buildings containing student accommodation and teaching areas: Hall, South, Milham Ford, Wolfson, Garden, and the Christina Barratt Building (opened in 2001). The Jacqueline Du Pré Music Building is a concert venue named after the famous cellist who was an honorary fellow of the college. The college also owns a number of properties on Iffley Road, and in the Cowley area.

The college is situated alongside the River Cherwell, with many college rooms overlooking the river itself. One benefit of this location is that the college has its own fleet of punts, which students of the college may hire for free in summer months. Unfortunately, this location has at times led to problems with flooding in Milham Ford building.

The current Principal is Sheila Forbes, CBE, a graduate of the college. She took up the post in 2007.

As with all the colleges of the University of Oxford, St Hilda's has always maintained very high academic standards in all fields. In its history as a women's college, students built a reputation for gaining firsts in English, history, and classics. St Hilda's has frequently produced a greater percentage of English Firsts per year than any other constituent college.[citation needed]

As of 2006, the college had an estimated financial endowment of £39 million.[2]

The college is named after the important Anglo-Saxon Saint, Hilda of Whitby.



Founded in 1893, St Hilda's College was originally an Oxford Hall for women. It was founded by Dorothea Beale, who was also a headmistress at Cheltenham Ladies' College as a women's college, a status it retained until 2006. While the other Oxford colleges gradually becamme co-educationall, no serious debate at St Hilda's occurred until 1997, according to a former vice-principal, and then the debate solely applied to the issue of staff appointments.[3] After a vote on 7 June 2006 by the Governing Body,[1] men and women can be admitted as fellows and students. The first male undergraduate and graduate students commenced their studies in October 2008.[4]

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