Equal Opportunities Policy for Students

Equal Opportunities Policy for Students


St Catherine's College (as part of the University of Oxford) aims to provide education of excellent quality at undergraduate and postgraduate level for able students, whatever their background. In pursuit of this aim, the College is committed to using its best endeavours to ensure that all of its activities are governed by principles of equality of opportunity, and that all students are helped to achieve their full academic potential.

This statement applies to student admissions, to the curriculum, teaching and assessment of students, and to welfare and support services.

Student admissions

Decisions on admissions are based solely on the individual merits of each candidate, and their suitability for the course they have applied to study as assessed by the application of selection criteria appropriate to the course of study (bearing in mind any requirements laid down by any professional body).

Admissions procedures are kept under regular review to ensure compliance with this policy. We seek to admit students of the highest academic potential, and to select students for admission without regard to sex, marital or civil partnership status, race, ethnic origin, colour, religion, sexual orientation, social background or other irrelevant personal characteristics.

Applications from students with disabilities are considered on exactly the same academic grounds as those from other candidates. The College is committed to making arrangements whenever practicable to enable such students to participate as fully as possible in student life. Details of these arrangements will be provided on request by the Academic Office.

In order to widen access to Oxford, the University and colleges support schemes which work to encourage applicants from groups that are currently under-represented. The undergraduate Admissions Office can provide details of current schemes.

None of the above shall be taken to invalidate the need for financial guarantees where appropriate.

Information relating to the University's code of practice on student admissions can be found here.

The curriculum, teaching and assessment

Unfair discrimination based on individual characteristics (listed in the statement on recruitment and admissions above) will not be tolerated. University departments, faculties, colleges and the central quality assurance bodies monitor the curriculum, teaching practice and assessment methods. Teaching and support staff have regard to the diverse needs, interests and backgrounds of their students in all their dealings with them.

Welfare and support services

Colleges have the lead responsibility for student welfare and can provide details of arrangements made to support their students. The University, in addition, provides for all students who require such support: a counselling service; disability assessment and advice; childcare advice; a harassment advisory service.

Further details of these services are included in the Proctors' and Assessor's handbook "Essential information for students", which is updated annually.

Staff training

The University, through its The Oxford Learning Institute, provides appropriate training programmes to support this statement.


A candidate for admission who considers that he or she has not been treated in accordance with this policy, should raise this matter with the College (or department in the case of graduate admission).

Students in the course of their studies may use the student complaints procedure, and should, in the first instance, lodge their complaint with the Proctors, who will advise on the procedure to be followed thereafter.