About St Antony’s College

History of the College

St Antony’s was founded in 1950 as the result of the gift of Antonin Besse of Aden, a merchant of French descent. Its role was “to be a centre of advanced study and research in the fields of modern international history, philosophy, economics and politics and to provide an international centre within the University where graduate students from all over the world can live and work together in close contact with senior members of the University who are specialists in their fields”.

The College opened its doors to its first students in Michaelmas Term 1950 and received its Royal Charter in 1953. A Supplementary Charter in 1962 was granted to allow the College to admit women as well as men and in 1963 the College was made a full member of the University. The College’s first Warden [Head/Provost] was Sir William Deakin (1950-68), a young Oxford academic who in the Second World War became an adventurous soldier and aide to Winston Churchill. He won Antonin Besse’s confidence and played the key role in turning his vision into the centre of excellence that St Antony’s has become. Sir Raymond Carr (1968-87), the second Warden and a distinguished historian of Spain, expanded the College and its regional coverage and opened its doors to visiting scholars from all over the world. Sir Ralf (later Lord) Dahrendorf (1987-97) came to St Antony’s after a distinguished career as a social theorist and politician in Germany, a European Commissioner and Director of the London School of Economics. He further enlarged the College and developed its role as a source of policy advice. The fourth Warden, Sir Marrack Goulding (1997-2006), served in the British Diplomatic Service for 26 years before becoming an Under Secretary-General at the United Nations. His appointment underlined the College’s international nature and its links with government and business. The College’s fifth Warden, alumnus Professor Margaret MacMillan, took office in July 2007. Professor MacMillan was formerly the Provost of Trinity College and professor of History at the University of Toronto.

Professor Roger Goodman, the sixth Warden, took office in October 2017. He was a Junior Research Fellow at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies (1985-88), and was appointed the first University Lecturer in the Social Anthropology of Japan in 1993. He was subsequently elected the Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies in 2003, a position which he will retain while Warden. He became the inaugural Head of Oxford’s newly established School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies in 2004, until his appointment as the Head of the Social Sciences Division in 2008. In 2015, he was elected Chair of the Council of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. His research has been primarily on Japanese education and social policy.

Today the College has around 500 students, 40 Governing Body Fellows and each year around 100 visiting researchers (‘Senior Members’) from the academic, diplomatic, business and political worlds. See here for more information about the College’s history.

Our alumni

United by a common interest in the working world, Antonians can be found across the globe working in a diverse range of professions. Here’s just a snapshot of what some of our alumni are now doing:

Chrystia Freeland (MSc Russian and Eurasian Studies 1993) is a Canadian writer, journalist and politician. Freeland has served in various editorial positions with the Financial Times, The Globe and Mail and Thomson Reuters, where she was the managing director and editor for consumer news before she announced her resignation to run for the Liberal Party nomination as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre. She was appointed to the Cabinet of Canada as Minister of International Trade and in January 2017 as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Paul Kennedy CBE FBA (DPhil 1966 – 1970) is a historian at Yale University specialising in the history of international relations, economic power and grand strategy.

Dr Eugene Qian: (DPhil Politics 1989): President of UBS Group China, formerly Head of Citigroup Inc.’s China head of corporate and investment banking.

Dr Nemat (Minouche) Shafik DBE (DPhil Economics 1987): is Director of the London School of Economics. She was previously Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, and, before that, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. She also served as Permanent Secretary of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Research Centres/Institutes on site

Uniquely amongst Oxford Colleges, St Antony’s hosts seven regional research centres/institutes. Each hosts and coordinates a range of research projects, seminars, conferences and other activities. Some of the centres also support Master’s programmes and doctoral research. Centre staff may include St Antony’s Governing Body Fellows, researchers based at other Oxford colleges, and visiting researchers.

African Studies Centre

Part of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA), the African Studies Centre is one of the world-leading centres for African Studies. The Centre runs the MSc in African Studies which provides an excellent foundation for those who wish to expand their knowledge of Africa, prior to working for NGOs, the civil service, international organizations, the media, or in other professional capacities. The Centre also supports doctoral researchers specialising in Africa. In 2017, the University is, for the first time, offering a DPhil in African Studies.

Asian Studies Centre

The Asian Studies Centre was founded in 1982, as the successor to the Far East Centre (established in 1954) at St Antony’s College. Its activities are supported by an endowment at the College and from external grants. Like its predecessor, the Asian Studies Centre is primarily a co-ordinating organisation which exists to bring together specialists from a wide variety of different disciplines.

Geographically, the Centre predominantly covers South, Southeast and East Asia. The Asian Studies Centre works closely with scholars in the Oriental Institute, the Oxford China Centre, the Contemporary Indian Studies Programme and the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies (in premises at St Antony’s).  It is a forum for supporting activities through which scholars from across the University and beyond discuss thematic topics of comparative and of regional interest. It also supports a variety of other country-specific and/or thematic seminar series, workshops, conferences, lectures and activities, which vary from year to year.

The Asian Studies Centre is keen to support comparative research on Asia, and research on regional themes, to encourage debate and dialogue within the diverse student body of St Antony’s College and across the University more generally. To facilitate communications, the Centre issues a weekly round-up of Asian studies events and notices (in term-time). 

The Asian Studies Centre administers the Wai Seng Senior Research Scholarship which provides two years of support for a DPhil student working in the field of Asia-Pacific studies. The centre hopes in the future to develop more sources for student support.

The Centre welcomes opportunities to develop collaborations with academics and institutions working on Asia elsewhere in the UK and in other parts of the world.

European Studies Centre

The European Studies Centre at St Antony’s College was established in 1976 with a generous grant from the Volkswagen Foundation and is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of Europe. It has particular strengths in politics, history and international relations, but also brings together economists, sociologists, social anthropologists and students of culture. It is a meeting place and intellectual laboratory for the whole community of those interested in European Studies at the University of Oxford.

Beside its permanent Fellows, the Centre has Visiting Fellows from several European countries, as well as graduate students from all parts of the world working on European affairs. The Centre participates in several collaborative international research projects. Seminars and workshops on a wide range of topics are held regularly at the Centre. These involve Oxford scholars from all disciplines and their counterparts from abroad, often with the participation of students. A number of special lectures and international conferences, bringing both leading academics and distinguished practitioners to Oxford, are offered to a wider audience under the auspices of the Centre.
The European Studies Centre houses a series of programmes on various European themes and European regions, including SEESOX and the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom.

Latin American Centre

Founded in 1964 by St Antony’s College, the Latin American Centre educates graduate students in a range of disciplines applied to Latin America. Every year the Centre welcomes students from across the world onto its graduate programmes. These courses provide students with interdisciplinary understanding of developments in Latin America since independence to the present.

While the courses look at specific features of individual countries, there is also broad comparative coverage of major historical and regional trends, such as authoritarianism and democracy, political economy, sociology, social movements, human rights, accountability, justice, migration, development and international relations, amongst many others.

Middle East Centre

Since its establishment in 1957, the Middle East Centre (MEC) has emerged as a premiere international institute for teaching, research and scholarly exchange on the modern Middle East in the University of Oxford. The Centre promotes inter-disciplinary scholarship on Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Arab states of the Middle East and North Africa from the nineteenth century to the present day. The Centre serves as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East, encouraging the exchange of students and researchers from across the region. The Centre scholars provide supervision, teaching and research support for masters and doctoral students in modern Middle Eastern studies, contribute to debates in the press and public arenas, and advise government to promote greater understanding of the Middle East. Through a rich and varied events programme, it encourages informed debate and respect for divergent views on the contentious issues confronting the Middle East. The Centre lectures are open to the general public and provide a meeting space between the city and the University.

The Investcorp building, designed by Dame Zaha Hadid, opened in 2015 and houses 117-seat lecture theatre, the MEC Library and MEC Archive. The MEC Library is a world –class collection comprising over 40,000 volumes in European and Middle Eastern languages covering all aspects of the history, societies and politics of the region from the late 18th century to the modern day. The Library also holds a special collection of rare books. The MEC Archive contains substantial documentary collection, especially relating to Britain’s role in the region in the twentieth century. The Archive also holds a unique collection of over 150,000 historic photographs going back almost to the beginning of photography in the Middle East.  

Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies

The study of Japan at Oxford University started in St. Antony’s college in the 1950s and the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies was established there in 1981, making it the sixth oldest of the colleges seven centres. The Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies is part of the University’s Oxford School of Global and Area Studies and is located on the main College campus.  The Nissan Institute houses the Bodleian Japanese Library, which contains one of the principal collections on Japan in the UK, totalling more than 120,000 books in its collections.  The Institute also runs an
MSc and MPhil programme in Japanese Studies.

Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre

The Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre was launched in 2003 to carry forward the work of the internationally renowned Russian and East European Studies Centre, established in 1953. The Centre is a major component of research on Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia at Oxford University. 

Approximately half of all graduate students in one branch or another of Russian studies at Oxford University come to St Antony’s. The Russian Centre’s seminar series has been running continuously on Mondays in term for sixty years.

Governing Body

The College’s Governing Body is the sovereign body of the College. The Governing Body holds responsibility for all the activities, policies, finances and staffing of the College. There are at least six Governing Body meetings per year, usually twice per term, conducted in accordance with the rules laid down in the College’s statutes and by-laws).

The Governing Body is chaired by the Warden and its members are the Governing Body Fellows of the College. The GCR President participates in the open business of Governing Body meetings.

The Governing Body elects the Warden, Fellows and all Senior Members of the College. Student members of the College are admitted by the Tutor for Admissions, who is a Governing Body Fellow.

Management Executive Team and College committees

The Management Executive Team (MET) is responsible for the preparation of the College budget, day to day administrative issues and recommendations for academic appointments. MET normally meets five times per term and reports to the Governing Body. The membership of MET is: Warden (Chair), Sub-Warden, Senior Tutor, Dean, Governing Body Delegate for Finance/Tutor for Admissions, Bursar, and a representative of the GCR Executive (for open business).

The College does not have any permanent sub-committees but MET has delegated authority to create temporary sub-committees, for example a Buildings Committee, which was set up to oversee the construction and refurbishment of the newer College buildings.

There are two standing committees: Nominations Committee and the Remunerations and Conflicts of Interest Committee. There is also a Financial Advisory Committee.

College officers

The Head of the College is the Warden. The principal College Officers are:  the Sub-Warden, the Senior Tutor, the Dean, the Bursar, and the Governing Body Delegate for Finance/Tutor for Admissions. They are all Governing Body Fellows.

The Sub-Warden deputises for the Warden when they are not available, and is also the Governing Body Fellow responsible for Senior Members of the College.

The Senior Tutor is responsible for all the academic affairs of students in the College. They are available for consultation should any difficulties arise and hold fixed times when students may consult them (advertised termly), although appointments may be made outside these times. The Senior Tutor participates in College grant/scholarship selection processes, and can complete various graduate forms and requests to the Proctors’ Office/Education Committee. Requests for the latter should be sent to the Head of the Academic Office in the first instance. The Dean is responsible for all the non-academic affairs of students within the College and is the College’s lead contact for welfare issues and discipline.

The Dean is working closely with the Welfare team within college and is responsible for all welfare matters in college, coordinate the pastoral care provision and oversee the College’s work to support students needing help or support. The Dean also deals with matters of student discipline. The basic disciplinary rule is that all College members must behave in such a way that they do not interfere with or disturb other College members and neighbours (inside or outside the College). Any student who persistently ignores this rule is referred to the Dean. See also section 12.1 for the College’s Code of Practice on Student Discipline.

The Bursar is the chief administrative officer of the College, managing the staff and operations of the College, and with a particular responsibility to the Governing Body for the finances of the College.

The Governing Body Delegate for Finance/Tutor for Admissions takes an overview of all the financial issues of the College on behalf of the Governing Body. They are also responsible for reviewing postgraduate applications forwarded from Departments/Faculties and making offers within an admissions quota set by MET.

Each Centre has a Director, who oversees the operations of the centre. The Centre Directors may be Governing Body Fellows at St Antony’s, but they may sometimes be either a Senior Member of the College and not a Governing Body Fellow, and/or a Governing Body Fellow of another College.

Role of the College for graduate students

All graduate students at Oxford are members of multiple communities, principally their college and their department/faculty. A department/faculty is the focus for each student’s studies through teaching and direct support for research work. A College handles student status, provides a physical home and intellectual community in Oxford, and offers social events and other facilities.

As a specialist and research intensive graduate College, St Antony’s is well equipped to enhance its students’ social and intellectual experience at Oxford through the resources, experience and the practical support available. St Antony’s offers a place to:

Senior Members

St Antony’s is also home each year to around 100 visiting researchers, who are Senior Members of the College. These include: academics from around the world who spend a year here on funded Visiting Fellowships, career professionals taking time out to pursue independent research as Academic Visitors, early career researchers who value the College association along with a departmental affiliation for their post-doctoral work, and many Emeritus, Foundation and Honorary Fellows who have all made a significant contribution to the life and work of the College.

Many Academic Visitors and Visiting Fellows are attached to a College Centre and give seminars and organise regular events at which students are welcome. These include Senior Members’ drinks, which take place termly on Wednesday of 1st week.