A message from the Warden and Chair of the Governing Body
It is my pleasure to introduce the College’s Annual Report for 2022/23. The past academic year has almost certainly been the most active in the college’s history. I am confident that neither the average combined number (around 15 per week) of seminars, workshops and conferences nor the high attendances that most of them attracted held during term time across the year will ever have been exceeded. The dining hall has been packed; at lunch times, the queue has not infrequently gone all the way down the stairs and out to the porter’s lodge. High Tables regularly required two or even three rows of tables. There have been student club, society and sporting activities as well as student-led events almost every day. In short, it has felt as if there has been a post-pandemic ‘sugar rush’ in the college as we rediscovered the pleasure of meeting in person after two years of living mainly online.
It is always invidious to pick out individual events among the many hundred that took place, but the talk - as part of the Visiting Parliamentary Fellowship series convened by Arminka Helic and Jonny Oates - by George Robertson, the former Head of NATO, on the current situation in Ukraine, drawing on his personal knowledge of working with Vladimir Putin, will live long in the memory of those who were there. Highlights of a different kind were St Antony’s coming top in the Climate League of Oxford and Cambridge (CLOC) 2023 ranking of Oxford colleges; the election of our former Warden, Margaret MacMillan by the late Queen as one of six new members of the Order of Merit; and, the arrival of our first-ever DAC Scholarship recipient, Samira Mohammed Ibn Moro.
On the topic of students, total student numbers have stabilised, post-pandemic, in the mid-500s as more students have completed their courses on time; 82% of our students are from outside the UK (over a third are from Asia), but there appears to be a definite post-Brexit reduction in EU students, doubtless linked to the fact that on many courses they are now liable to higher international fees. In the course of the year, we were saddened at the deaths of two of our Emeritus Fellows, Malcolm Deas and Celia Kerslake, as well as the College’s first Public Relations and Development Officer, Polly Friedhoff. At the Governing Body in June, we bade goodbye and paid tribute to the contributions of no less than seven GB fellows who were stepping down: Lenka Bustikova to the University of Florida after a year; Cathryn Costello to University College Dublin after 10 years; Miles Larmer to the University of Florida after 10 years; Simon Quinn to Imperial College after 10 years; Doug Gollin to Tufts University after 11 years; Kalypso Nicolaidis to the European University Institute in Florence after 24 years. The only person who technically ‘retired’ – rather than moved to a position elsewhere - from the Governing Body was Timothy Garton Ash. Timothy came to St Antony’s in 1978 and has hence been a member of the College for 45 out of its 73 years of existence; to have been affiliated for the equivalent percentage of their history at Balliol or Merton, he would need to have joined in around 1550!
To lose so many long-term and engaged members of the Governing Body at the same time will take some adjustments, but at the same time the College is delighted to have appointed six new Governing Body Fellows who will be joining us during the coming academic year: Catherine Briddick (Andrew W Mellon Associate Professor of International Human Rights and Refugee Law), Federica Genovese (Associate Professor in the International Relations and/or Politics of the European Union), Raihan Ismail (His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani Professor in Contemporary Islamic Studies), Amir Lebidoui (Associate Professor of Development Studies), Jonathan Lusthaus (Associate Professor in Global Sociology), Michael Rochlitz (Associate Professor in Economies of Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia). We look forward to welcoming them all to the St Antony’s community.
The academic year ended on a high note with a Gaudy in mid-September for those who matriculated at St Antony’s in the 1990s. We welcomed around 160 alumni for a weekend of talks, music, eating and reminiscing.
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the Governing Body, which has granted me a year of sabbatical for 2023/24 to undertake a new research project on the Japanese health system. I am particularly grateful to Professor Nandini Gooptu who will take over as Acting Warden in my absence.
Professor Roger Goodman, CBE
A Global Community, focussed on the future
Looking forward, looking back
Highlights and key stats from 2022-23 are set out below, along with our strategic priorities for the coming three years.
A full review of the finances and governance of the College, along with a round-up of activities in 2022-23 can be found at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can jump straight to this here.
Improving the student experience is a key priority for us.
We are increasing our student accommodation provision with an additional 12 beds now available at 4 Canterbury Road, and a further 10 to be delivered by Easter 2024 at 4 Church Walk.
We have agreed on a college approach to inclusivity and being family-friendly.
Student support is the focus of our fundraising efforts. We have raised £40,565 for student activities against a target of £100k. We have raised £168,368 for scholarships against a target of £500k. To maximize and use the available funds efficiently, the aim is to offer joint scholarships with University departments and external funders. The College has applied for matched funding as part of the University’s Graduate Endowment Matched Scholarships (GEMS) scheme. The matching would be for an endowed ‘90s DAC Scholarship’ and, once this has been confirmed, we need to raise £1m in gifts and confirmed pledges before 31 July 2024.
Together with the appointment of the College’s first Environmental Sustainability Officer, we have secured funding from the Low Carbon Skills Fund to produce a decarbonisation plan for our estate by March 2024. This will provide us with a clear set of priorities for investment and a roadmap to ceasing the use of natural gas for heating, cooking and hot water while, also improving insulation and the fabric of our buildings. We continue to seek to reduce our Scope 2 and 3 emissions by decreasing meat and dairy consumption and limiting food waste. In addition to our cycle-to-work scheme we have introduced Bikeability training courses for staff, as well as season ticket loan schemes for public transport – and we are now an OxBikes depot, enabling bike loans to College members to facilitate green travel around the city.
Fundraising and alumni relations
Fundraising activities throughout the year included meetings in-person and online, digital mailings and a telephone campaign. The Development Office had an ongoing online presence, in particular through increased social media activities and electronic newsletters to engage with the College’s alumni and friends. There have been five in-person events and alumni were invited to attend the seminars of the Visiting Parliamentary Fellowship programme and High Table dinners. The Development Office has started enhancing its network of Liaison Officers to improve our links with Antonians. In Bangkok, Brussels, Geneva, Hong Kong, New York, Toronto and Washington, new Liaison Officers have started organising activities on behalf of the College.
The Warden and a small professional team, the Development Office, are the staff involved with fundraising. All fundraising activities by Fellows and Centres are monitored by the Development Director who, together with the Data Protection Officer, ensures that all rules and regulations are adhered to in terms of data protection and fundraising regulations. St Antony’s College operates in compliance with the Fundraising Regulator’s voluntary scheme. The College has not received any fundraising complaints about any of its fundraising activities. Many protocols are in place to ensure that the Development Office is fully compliant with the GDPR and PECR. The College’s Data Protection Policy Statement is published on the College website, as well as a privacy notice for, amongst others, alumni and donors.
Read the latest edition of our digital alumni magazine, The Antonian.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
We ran our first-ever dedicated EDI training courses for students (with huge thanks to Clara Barker) and for staff (run by Scene Change) in Michaelmas Term, with a dedicated session for Governing Body Fellows planned for January 2024. We are in the process of refreshing our external EDI Advisory Board and look forward to working with them to improve and strengthen St Antony’s as a space where equality, diversity, and inclusion are truly celebrated.
Governance and management
Effective governance and management enables and underpins all our work. Through our Governance Working Group, and with the support of external legal advice, we have agreed on a set of governance principles aligned with the Governance Code for Charity Boards and reviewed governance structures at other similar charities. We are now considering the possible governance structures that might work best for St Antony’s as a college and a community in order to agree what changes might be made for the future.