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Principal’s Welcome

Mansfield College is special. Founded in the nineteenth century to allow Dissenters to study at Oxford University, we were also one of the first ‘men’s’ colleges in Oxford to admit women to study for degrees. That spirit of openness and inclusion continues today: Mansfield is a place of active scholarship and inquiry, where people learn from each other, as well as with each other.

What happens in this College is exceptional. Every year, new magic unfolds. New ideas, shared experiences, and revitalising bonds are formed by the changing academic and student body in extraordinary ways.

We are a community of hard work and high aspiration. Central to our ethos is reaching out to a wider constituency, to find brilliant people who might not otherwise find us. We are proud that Mansfield is recognised across the University of Oxford, the University sector and nationally as an outstanding leader in widening participation, by identifying and nurturing talent from the widest range of socio-economic backgrounds.

My mission, for my time at Mansfield, is to work with Fellows, supporters and alumni, to leave the College secure in the knowledge that everyone passing through our community is truly empowered and supported to achieve, and in their own myriad ways, contribute to the world.

Our most recent admission statistics show that 93% of Mansfield’s UK undergraduates came from state schools; one in four came from the most disadvantaged areas of the UK; and 25% were the first in their family to go into higher education at all. We are consistently in the top third of the Norrington Table, and we nurture not only academic achievement but whole people, to live fulfilling, valuable lives.

Mansfield is also home to the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, which was opened by Kofi Annan in 2018. The Institute is a perfect reflection of the spirit of the College: plural, tolerant, broadminded, respecting the dignity and worth of everyone who crosses our threshold. Those are the values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and they are the values of this College.

At Mansfield, we are proud of our history, our beautiful buildings and gardens, but we are also proud of our present mission to continue to bolster our academic research and teaching; transform our built environment; establish vital scholarships, experiences, and our sector-leading outreach activity, so we can continue to create life-changing opportunities for generations of students to come. All this is only possible thanks to the generosity of past members and benefactors, who are enthused by the College’s imagination and energy, and who want to contribute to its future.

Come and visit us, and see for yourself. You are always welcome at Mansfield.

Helen Mountfield KC