Somerville College

college of the University of Oxford

Somerville College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England, was founded in 1879 as Somerville Hall, one of its first two women's colleges. Among its alumnae have been Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Dorothy Hodgkin, Iris Murdoch, Vera Brittain and Dorothy L. Sayers. It began admitting men in 1994. Its library is one of Oxford's largest college libraries. The college's liberal tone derives from its founding by social liberals, as Oxford's first non-denominational college for women, unlike the Anglican Lady Margaret Hall, the other to open that year. In 1964, it was among the first to cease locking up at night to stop students staying out late. No gowns are worn at formal halls. In 2021 it was recognised as a sanctuary campus by City of Sanctuary UK. It is one of three colleges to offer undergraduates on-site lodging throughout their course. It stands near the Science Area, University Parks, Oxford University Press, Jericho, and Green Templeton, St Anne's, Keble and St Benet's. Over a third of its 650 students are not from the UK. Over half the UK admissions are from state schools – close to the university average. Its total net assets in 2021 were £238 million, the seventh highest of an Oxford undergraduate college. Its sister college at Cambridge is Girton.
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