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.

The examination performance of undergraduates in 2013/14 was very good, with 30% of finalists achieving 1st class degrees, 61.7% 2:1s, 5.8% 2:2s, and 2.5% 3rds or unclassified. As a result, the College was placed 21st in the Norrington Table. 17 students won University prizes in their final examinations.

  • 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, and that is the focus for much of its outreach activity. Through 127 events and interactions of different sizes, St Hilda’s had responsive contact with 76 schools, of the 139 schools in Surrey (54.6% of its target schools in Surrey), as well as helping out with events covering other regions and even some international schools – interacting with a total of an estimated 550 schools. The composition of the undergraduates in terms of their secondary schools at the point of applying to the College for admission was 46% UK maintained schools, 38% UK independent schools, and 16% non-UK schools.

  • 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.
During term time, the College holds regular Cushion Concerts on Sundays for children aged under and over 5 and their families. With the support of the Patsy Wood Trust, the College offers workshops and concerts for schools, Family Proms, and other musical opportunities for children and their families. 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. 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. The College also hosts a series of concerts under the banner of Moving Music, devised especially for people living with dementia, and their families, friends, and carers, to enable them to enjoy a concert experience together and to help unlock memory and movement through the power of music. Four concerts were held during the year. They are currently supported by the Patsy Wood Trust and by the fundraising efforts of the pupils of the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. 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.