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new Despite its name, New College is far from new, having been founded in 1379. Officially titled ‘the college of St Mary of Winchester at Oxford’, the college gained its current name to distinguish it from Oriel, which was also dedicated to St Mary. The college boasts plenty of interesting features including ‘the Mound’, a mysterious hump of earth in the gardens which squeaks if you stand in front of it and clap. Also worth looking for is the tree which featured in the fourth Harry Potter film as well as part of the medieval city wall which runs through the middle of the college. New College is found on Holywell Street near the city centre and close to its historical rival Magdalen, whom New College blame for taking a gold medal in rowing at the 1912 Olympics, which should rightfully have been theirs. The college’s beautiful architecture includes one of the oldest quadrangles in Oxford and a large chapel where the world famous New College choir participate in a sung service on Sundays and weekday evenings. Famous alumni include Hugh Grant and Peter Middleton (grandfather of the Duchess of Cambridge).

nuffield Nuffield takes its name from the founder of Morris Motors, Lord Nuffield, who started the college in 1937. His motoring company at one stage made every other car sold in Britain, and its magnate was reputed to be so vain that he refused to allow any portraits to hang in the college dining hall except his own. Nuffield also intervened to ensure that the college tower would not be used to house an ancient set of bells (as is customary in Oxford), but would instead be the home of the library with books becoming steadily more obscure as you progress up the tower. Access to this tenfloor facility is restricted to members of the college and is the envy of every Social Science student in the University. Nuffield is Oxford’s most fiercely competitive college outside All Souls, admitting only 30 students every year. A major advantage of Nuffield is its exceptional support for student research: students are given an office, a research allowance and an exchange programme with Yale University, as well as an annual graduate conference for Sociology students from Harvard, Oxford and Stockholm. Nuffield is a college that makes (almost) any post-graduate wish they were a social scientist if they aren’t one already.

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The Oxford Handbook 2012  

The Oxford Handbook is a one-of-a-kind guide to Oxford, written by students with the insider knowledge unavailable to traditional travel boo...

The Oxford Handbook 2012  

The Oxford Handbook is a one-of-a-kind guide to Oxford, written by students with the insider knowledge unavailable to traditional travel boo...

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