Oxford announces plans for new postgraduate college

The college hopes to be up and running by September 2020

The site of the Radcliffe Science Library where the new postgraduate college will be located

Oxford has today announced plans to create a new graduate college, hoping to recruit 200 graduate students in 2019-2020 for admission in September 2020.

The 39th Oxford college, which has yet to be named, will specialise in the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences, although students from other subjects will also be admitted.

The new college will be built on the site of the Radcliffe Science Library on Parks Road. The University says students will “enjoy a central Oxford location and a vibrant scholarly, sporting and cultural life.”

Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, has offered the position of Head of House of the college to Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE FREng FMedSci, who has held the Chair in Electrical Engineering at Oxford since 1997.

Professor Richardson said: “Lionel Tarassenko was the driving force behind Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, in which he also established a Centre of Excellence in Medical Engineering. 

“The Institute was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2014 for success in forging collaboration between engineering and medicine. He is indefatigable in translating ideas into practical impact and in bringing smart people together. 

“A committed researcher and teacher, Lionel has supervised more than 60 doctoral students and is superbly qualified to lead Oxford’s 39th college.”

The plan, hinted at in a previous announcement in August, is part of a wider strategy by Oxford to increase its postgraduate intake by 850 per year by 2023 while continuing to pride itself on world-class tutoring and research.


  1. I don’t understand what they mean when they say the new College will occupy the Radcliffe Science Library site. Isn’t that where the Radcliffe Science Library is? The main science library? How are a new College and the Science Library going to coexist in one space? Starting in less than a year? I have many questions and am confused how this is supposed to work in practice.

    • Anna – I completely agree. This is hard to square with the current plans for the RSL re-development. Unless the new “college” is just going to be some cubicles in the basement….

  2. Oxford has not added a wholly new college for mainstream undergraduates since St Peter’s in 1929 during which time Cambridge has constructed Murray Edwards, Churchill and Robinson. It hardly needs a new graduate college. No-one would suggest St Antony’s, Linacre and St Cross are beyond a reasonable size quite apart from the shotgun marriage between Green and Templeton.

    Only last May the proposal was that the spare capacity in the RSL would become exhibition space. The building is hardly viable as a long-term home for 800 postgrads.


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