Somerville College – Alumni
Oxford Summer Courses is hosted at Somerville College. While we are not a part of the University or the College, we are lucky enough to be able to use Somerville College rooms and facilities – to give you the experience of living in an Oxford College, and we are thrilled to be able to do that at Somerville.
Somerville was founded in 1879 as one of the first Women’s Colleges in Oxford. It has admitted men since 1994 and is situated on the Woodstock Road, close to the centre of town. Next to it is the new ‘Radcliffe Observatory Quarter’ the biggest Oxford University building project in decades. This will serve to only enhance the reputation of Somerville College in the future. Not that its reputation needs enhancing. Somerville boasts a dazzling range of inspiring Alumni, many of whom have overcome major hurdles and social barriers on their journeys to success.
Among them are Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Indira Ghandi, India’s first female Prime Minister; Dorothy Hodgkin, the first and only British woman to have won a Nobel Prize in Science, Dorothy L. Sayers and Iris Murdoch – both acclaimed novelists, and Cornelia Sorabji.
While lesser known, Cornelia Sorabji (above) holds many impressive firsts to her name; not only was she the first woman to study Law at Oxford, but she was also the first Indian national to study at any British University (as well as the first woman to graduate from Bombay University). She then became the first woman to practice law in both Britain and India. It is estimated that she helped more than 600 women and orphans fight legal battles that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.
This means that studying with Oxford Summer Courses this summer at Somerville College puts you in the environment which inspired, encouraged and nurtured some of the most impressive, courageous and trailblazing women of the last hundred years.
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For some students that join us this summer, they'll have the opportunity to study and stay in the historic Somerville College, which makes up part of the University of Oxford. Learn more about the venue and access further resources about its history.