Talk:Westminster College, Oxford

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Can anyone confirm that the University of Oxford was willing to add a teacher-training college? Sjoh0050 21:47, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

The College for some time had had its degrees validated by Oxford. I was informed that the Vice Chancellor of Oxford had made an approach to the Principal of Westminster College, who rejected the overtures because there were already negotiations taking place with Oxford Brookes.

It had always been the hope, since the 1960s, that Westminster College would become a constituent college of Oxford University, but in the eighties a proposal was rejected by Convocation. However, since then the relationships between the University and Westminster College had become much closer, and though opinions differ depending upon the person one talks to, there was a very good chance that the aspirations of the College would have been realized.

Former and exsting students had no problems with Oxford Brookes, which already had a well-run education department, though at the time lecturers from the latter were reportedly somewhat disparaging about the college, and were going about saying "We saved you from extinction" - which rather rubbed salt into the wounds! The reference to students being concerned that neither Oxford nor Brookes would validate degrees has in my view little substance; I am not aware that this was ever an issue.

What was more controversial was the manner by which this "strategic alliance" between Westminster and Brookes had been sprung on existing and former students, in effect leading to the demise of Westminster College. Things were handled insensitively, with a measure of underhandness, and with some deceitfulness even from one of the officers of the Westminster College Society. It led to resignations from the Society's executive committee, and even to a discussion over a vote of censure on the Principal (not that this would have changed anything!) Whatever the final outcome, had there been a greater degree of openness and truthfulness, the feeling of anger and hurt experienced by many Old Ws. might not have existed.

That there is little written evidence to go on is perhaps an indication of the way the whole issue had been handled. There is in fact a book entitled "Our calling to fulfil" (Tockington Press) which provides the history of Westminster College from the fifties, but since this was commissioned by the College's powers-that-be, one rather suspects that even the author will not have been given the whole story, and may have been leaned on.

A rather sorry episode, but one must now look forward. There has always been a deep loyalty to the College by former students, and since they had raised a not inconsiderable amount of money from the sixties onwards, to support the College, it is a pity that it has now become a mere appendage to a University, with a Westminster Society that will inevitably be in terminal decline.

Just a small point: Westminster College was not purely a teacher training college but had also run courses leading to theology degrees.

Robert Leggat 11:52, 24 August 2007 (UTC)


"The campus has since been renovated and upgraded allowing the former Westminster College site to receive the attention it needed." The only time I saw the campus looking really run-down was after Brookes took over. I intend to remove this comment as POV. DiverScout (talk) 22:10, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect info[edit]

"Following the move, the college began to offer a number of Theology and Education
degrees which were validated by the Council for National Academic Awards (the CNAA).
When this was scrapped following the 1992 Education Act, the college entered an 
academic partnership with the University of Oxford allowing Westminster students to 
read for degrees of the University." 

NOTE: This is not correct. Degrees were those of the University of Oxford until, in what many people felt was a singularly ill-judged action, Westminster parted from the University of Oxford. After that, the degrees were validated by the CNAA until the union with Oxford Brookes. Further, academic subjects while linked with Oxford University were far wider than simply Theology and Education. (talk) 10:07, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

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