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Oxford’s Last Women’s College to Admit Men

[Arms of St. Hilda’s College, Oxford] — Oxford University’s last single-sex residential college, St. Hilda’s College, voted yesterday to admit men for the first time in its history. The press release from the college’s website appears below.

The Governing Body of St Hilda’s College has voted today, Wednesday 7 June 2006, to change its Statutes and Charter in order to be able to admit men to the College. A two-thirds majority was required to effect these changes and was obtained in both votes. These changes will enable men to become members of the College at all levels: from the undergraduate and graduate students through to the Fellowship and Principal.

The College will now embark upon the legal process of having its Statutes and Charter amended. It plans to open Fellowship appointments to both men and women as soon as the formalities have been arranged. However, the admission of men as students will be deferred to a date to be decided in consultation with current students.

The Principal, Lady English, said:

“This is an important decision for St Hilda’s which opens up new and exciting opportunities, in line with the Strategic Agenda adopted a year ago.

We are proud of our heritage as a women’s college but plan to build on that with a new focus for the 21st century, now that women can go to every college in Oxford. We want to ensure that St Hilda’s provides an excellent environment for women, but within a mixed community. Our strong outreach programme will provide access to Oxford University for today’s under-represented groups.

The ability to consider men as well as women for Fellowship appointments will have immediate benefit by allowing us to strengthen our Science teaching. However, our commitment to supporting women’s careers remains a priority; we want St Hilda’s to become a catalyst for the advancement of women across the University as a whole.

We are confident that the wider College community is ready for change; discussions with students and alumnae have indicated widespread support.”

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