What our priorities are and how we are doing

The College achieves its charitable aims by:

  • Providing education, in conjunction with the University of Oxford, to some 600 undergraduates and graduates.

In 2018, 98% of our undergraduate students got an upper second class or first class degree in their finals. This placed St Hilda’s joint 13th place on the 2017/18 Norrington Table. Of our 108 finalists, 37 achieved Firsts, 69 obtained 2:1s, and 2 obtained 2:2s. Particular mention goes to the students in Ancient and Modern History, Biochemistry, Engineering, History, Maths, Medicine, Modern Languages, Music and Physics who all achieved 50% or more Firsts.

 In the 2016/17 academic year, 73 graduate students completed their studies, 11 obtained Distinctions in exams, and 19 students were awarded the DPhil.

  • Encouraging applications from excellent students who might benefit from an Oxford education but who might not otherwise consider applying to the College.

The University of Oxford has divided the UK into ‘outreach regions’ assigned to individual colleges, so that all parts of the country have a specific college as their first point of contact for Oxford. St Hilda's College’s region is Surrey, which is the focus for much of its outreach activity.

During 2017-18, the School's Outreach Programme has continued to offer a main point of contact for schools in the College's link region of Surrey. The core aim remains the same; the Recruitment and Schools Programme Officer offers direct support to state schools, with a particular focus on students in years 9-13 from disadvantaged or under-represented backgrounds, in addition to the wider objective of increasing the number and quality of first-choice applications directly to St Hilda's College. In 2017-18, we offered a more academically-focussed programme to our schools. As such, we now work more collaboratively with schools to identify their needs and preferences. In response to this, we have delivered College taster days in specific subjects for years 10-12. One of our biggest achievements has been the successful development and delivery of our Surrey-St-Hilda's in-schools programme of twilight academic taster sessions.

The first of these, in February 2017, consisted of two twilight academic taster sessions in Physics and Chemistry. In July, we ran our second series of twilight academic sessions in Modern Languages, English and Classics. Evaluation of the previous year's St Hilda's College Schools Programme has shown a 72 per cent increase in applications to Oxford from the directly supported school, and a 33 per cent increase from Surrey state schools. Over 60 per cent of teachers reported a vastly improved perception of the College and University, with more than 30 per cent reporting they were now 'much more likely to encourage their students to make an application to the University or College'.

  • Participating with the University of Oxford and others in a bursary scheme to provide financial assistance to eligible undergraduate students of modest means.

The College provides scholarships to graduates and financial support available to all students for books, travel grants, and in cases of unexpected financial hardship. During the year, the College provided £286,432 in financial support to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

  • Advancing research through the support given to College fellows by means of sabbatical and research leave and by appointing research fellows.

The College currently has 14 senior and junior research fellows active in a range of disciplines.

  • Supporting a community programme of educational concerts.

The College’s Jacqueline du Pré Music Building is a very popular venue for the performing arts, including numerous events of an educational nature aimed at children and their families and other events aimed at the public in general. The JdP has continued with its many education and community projects, which run throughout the academic year and out of term time Our monthly Cushion Concerts, as well as the annual Robert Mayer concert and the Patsy Wood Family prom, saw record numbers of children and families thorough the doors, many for the first time. The Cushion Concerts introduce children and their families to a wide variety of different instruments, demonstrating how they work and what kind of music they play.

At the end of 2018, a new show, Winnie and Wilbur: A Christmas Adventure, was brought to life in a magical pantomime, which was created by Wild Boor Ideas and supported by the Robert Mayer Trust and Arts Council England. It was a hugely successful sell-out production with nearly all available tickets sold. Special interactive performances were also devised for those with Special Educational Needs. The quarterly 'Moving Music' concerts, aimed primarily at people living with dementia, and their families, friends, and carers, also continues throughout 2018/19. The 'Moving Music' concerts enable them to enjoy a concert experience together and to help unlock memory and movement through the power of music. In view of the level of interest, two concerts are held on each day. Many care homes around Oxford bring their clients but so do individuals who care for their partners. Funded by the Patsy Wood Trust and the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, these concerts featured experienced performers such as Derek Paravicini and Christine Cairns as well as Radley College and Magdalen College School musicians.

The JdP also continues to host three School Concerts each term. The Schools Concerts involve outreach musicians giving a one-hour workshop in school followed by a concert at the Jacqueline du Pré building with four instruments – the clarinet, flute, trumpet and piano. There are three such concerts a term involving nine different schools each term. The concerts are free to the schools, though some are able to give small donations.