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Friday, 5 June 2015

Oxford University's last male-only club to admit women...........

The last male-only undergraduate club at Oxford University is all set to welcome its first female members after it voted unanimously to admit female undergraduate students.
St Benet's Hall, one of the university's handful of permanent private halls – effectively miniature colleges – agreed in principle to admit women two years ago. But because the Benedictine institution, founded as an offshoot of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire 118 years ago, is home to a small group of monks, it was agreed to wait until space could be found to house men and women separately.
Now it has acquired a second site nearby, currently run as a hostel for women students in Oxford by the sisters from the Society of the Sacred Heart, which is to withdraw from Oxford as part of a reorganisation, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.
The last full college in Oxford University to go co-educational was St Hilda's, which voted to admit men in 2006, and St Benet's is now the only hall where undergraduate students are still restricted along gender lines. It already accepts a small number of graduate students, who do not live on site, of both genders. It currently has just under 50 undergraduates living alongside six monks.
Prof Werner Jeanrond, Master of St Benet's Hall, said: "St Benet's Hall has already accepted female graduate students. The acquisition of this building will enable the Hall to admit female undergraduates and go fully co-ed". "Equality is written into the University's strategic plan and we are now committed to raising the funds needed to make the next move happen," Werner added
Sister Jane Maltby, the Provincial of the England-Wales Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart said: "Although we are sad to be leaving Oxford after over 80 of supporting women's higher education, the Benedictine spirit of community and commitment to education will further the aspirations we have always striven to achieve." Last week Oxford University announced its first female vice-chancellor, Louise Richardson, nearly 800 years after the role was created.