Our most urgent priority is to create an additional 125 student rooms, to remain competitive with other Oxford colleges and to continue to attract and support the most talented students. Currently St Hilda’s can only accommodate 60% of its undergraduates, unlike many other colleges that can house them all. Private rental fees increase significantly ever year, and so many students would not consider applying to a college that could not accommodate them. A guaranteed room in College acts like a bursary, saving each student a large amount of money. College accommodation also enables our students to engage in our vibrant academic community more easily, with study, sport and social facilities nearby, as well as welfare provision and support networks.
Alongside the 125 student rooms, the new buildings will provide further facilities such as teaching spaces, flexible social areas, and a new Middle Common Room for graduate students. Thanks to the generosity of our alumnae and friends, the first two of three buildings are now under construction, as part of Phase I of the 125th Anniversary Campaign.
The new boundary building links together Hall and South Buildings to form a cohesive centre for the College, including 50 student rooms, a large seminar space, the new Middle Common Room, and a spectacular rooftop garden to take in the best views of Oxford. The new pavilion will provide teaching and social spaces that make the most of our exceptional riverside setting.
The third building, which will be designed and funded in Phase II of the 125th Anniversary Campaign, will make up the balance of the student rooms we need to offer all undergraduates accommodation for the duration of their degree courses.
Plans for the redesigned gardens at St Hilda’s will unite the new buildings with the old, with linked pathways along the riverbank and new vantage points. The College is seeking to introduce more biodiversity elements to the gardens, including boxes and planting for birds, bats, bees and butterflies.
There is still much to be done to fund these ambitious plans, so please support the 125th Anniversary Campaign now. All gifts, large and small, will make a difference.
“A guaranteed room in College would reduce both cost and worry: some people feel isolated from the rest of the student body if they don’t have College accommodation, and it can be difficult for those from less affluent backgrounds to afford privately rented accommodation. Living on site provides better access, both socially but also to much needed resources such as the library.”