New College

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Next year, New College will publish a book entitled ‘Testimony’. Produced by the best journalistic talents amongst our students, it speaks through the words and achievements of our BAME alumni. It is their testimony. Those testimonies are as diverse as they are. Some have become famous; some are not. Some will become famous; some will not. All are equally valuable. Some loved their experience in New College; some loathed it. Collected together they are a display of the richness that accompanies inclusion, and a reminder that – whatever the origins, the experience or the struggles – inclusiveness projects itself only in an atmosphere of caring and commitment.

Two New College Testimonies have been selected for this Oxford and Colonialism website. They speak, in turn, of the subversive and passionate anger felt by one of Africa’s greatest 20th-Century writers as colonial Rhodesia morphed into modern Zimbabwe and of the acutely revisionist angle on how India confronted colonialism of its greatest living historian.



New College was one of the first colleges to conduct and receive a systematic Diversity Audit. As a result of this a series of measures have been implemented, in particular relating to the diversification of staff in academic posts. The College’s policy is to ensure that, as much as is possible within the law, it seeks to recruit in order to diversify. The College has been active in the creation of the Black Academic Futures (BAF) Scholarships, to help deal with what is probably the most critical, practical pinch point in seeking to overcome systemic issues around race in the academic context. The College is committed to have its own BAF Scholars, and has also agreed to take on a BAME DPhil Scholar in Law. The College is also looking at how representation in under-represented cohorts amongst its undergraduate population can be improved, both through working with partners, and through dedicated outreach programmes. A BAME essay competition for school children takes place to encourage BAME applications. The College has also agreed to create a fund to support a Black Scholarship for undergraduates at Oxford.

The College’s Governing Body recently agreed to create a new category of Visiting Research Fellow, where the objective would be to bring in diverse academics, representing the richness of the BAME universe, in order to benefit from their academic and research expertise. Positive action would also be used to recruit some of these.

The BAME Alumni Project, of which these web pages are part, will extend into a commissioned portraiture project.

The New College Society and the JCR collaborate on an annual BAME Dinner which draws BAME Alumni and BAME junior members together. For the first time, the College officially celebrated Black History Month, the inaugural event being a JCR sponsored lecture on Toussaint Louverture in the context of the new biography, ‘Black Spartacus’.

Currently, the College is planning an annual BAME Culture Festival, post-Covid, and a symposium to celebrate Sir Michael Dummett and the Campaign for Racial Justice.