college of the University of Oxford
Somerville College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Founded in 1879 as Somerville Hall, it was one of the first two women's colleges in Oxford, and counts among its alumnae such major international figures as Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Dorothy Hodgkin, Iris Murdoch, Vera Brittain and Dorothy L. Sayers. The college started admitting men in 1994.Somerville has one of the largest college libraries in Oxford and is known for its varied architecture and liberal atmosphere. This character traces back to its foundation by social liberals as the first non-denominational college in Oxford, deliberately unlike the strictly Anglican Lady Margaret Hall, the other women's college opened in the same year. Somerville is one of the few Oxford colleges where students may walk on the grass and, in 1964, became one of the first colleges to abandon the policy of locking its gates at night to prevent students staying out late. No gowns are worn during Formal Halls.
Somerville is one of only three Oxford colleges to provide on-site accommodation for all undergraduates throughout their course. The college is located near the Science Area, the University Parks, the Oxford University Press and Jericho, close to Green Templeton, St Anne's, Keble and St Benet's. Somerville is home to about 650 students, of which more than a third are international. Over half the UK students admitted to Somerville are educated at state schools, which is close to the university average. Its total net assets in 2018 were £225.0 million, the seventh highest total for an Oxford undergraduate college.
Its sister college in Cambridge is Girton College, Britain's first residential college for the education of women at degree level.
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