OUS Hampshire & Isle of Wight


The Hampshire & Isle of Wight group organises several events for its members each year. Typically these include a weekday lunch with guest speaker in April, a visit in the summer to a place of historic interest and an early evening lecture in September/October.

The group is also developing another aspect of its remit: the encouragement of potential Oxford applications from schools and colleges in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with little Oxbridge or Russell Group tradition.

This part of the group’s work is carried out in conjunction with St Edmund Hall, the Oxford college responsible for outreach and admissions in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The group’s aim in this area of its activity is to encourage and enable more of the most able and deserving young people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to benefit from the education and experience offered by the University.

The group welcomes contact from alumni in its area who would be interested in helping with this important work. If you are interested in this work, please email the group Secretary, and see below for more information about a reception for freshers, and a schools meeting about applying to Oxford, which was held in March 2017.

The committee organises events each year: these are usually within or close to the county, and offer something that is not readily available to the general public. Members may bring guests and we welcome other OUS members (full or associate) irrespective of residence.

Membership is open to alumni who are resident in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and is subscription-free. For events, participating members share the costs. We do not raise funds for the University or any other charity.


Further events will be announced and published here in due course.

A new outreach sub-committee was convened in January 2018 to consider possible future activities in this area of the group's work, and there are ongoing conversations with local schools and Sixth Form Colleges about ways in which interested alumni can best offer support to local students interested in applying to Oxford.

This work is supported by St Edmund Hall in Oxford, which is the University’s ‘Hampshire link’ college, and you can read more about past activities below under ‘recent past events’.

Freshers' reception

In September 2019, for the fourth year, the group held a social event open to all Hampshire-based Oxford candidates who achieved a place at Oxford. The Chairman and other group members hosted the event, together with a few current undergraduates from Hampshire who kindly came along to chat to freshers about their experiences at Oxford. About 30 freshers attended and clearly enjoyed and appreciated the event, which it is intended to repeat in September 2020.

Outreach sub-committee

In January 2018, the group convened an initial meeting of its new Outreach sub-committee, having circulated to members to invite interest in this area of work and attendance at the meeting. About a dozen group members came to the meeting, at which there was a lively discussion of past and possible future work in this area in Hampshire. Those who attended the meeting have been involved in a range of work, including acting as mentors for Oxford applicants in support of the Oxbridge programme of another local sixth form college - Barton Peveril in Eastleigh - and starting to open up connections with other state sixth form colleges and schools throughout Hampshire.

Spring lunches

Recent events, usually held in April/May, have included talks from:

  • Dr Timothy Hands, Headmaster of Winchester College on a range of educational matters (2017)
  • Sir Ivor Roberts, President of Trinity, on ‘Conversations with Milosevic and other war criminals’ (2016)
  • Lord (Robin) Butler of Brockwell, on 'My Life with Five Prime Ministers' (2015)
  • Sir Tony Brenton KCMG, ex-ambassador to Russia, on “Russia: Has the bear come out of hibernation?” (2014)
  • Giles Henderson, CBE, Master of Pembroke College, talking about his experiences as a Head of House (2013)

Summer excursions

The group has, in recent years, organised summer excursions to the Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village near Guildford; Chichester (for a guided tour of the cathedral and a lecture at the Pallant House Gallery); Wilton House near Salisbury, Petworth; and Chawton House Library, each with separate guided tours for participating members and including a lunch. The 2018 excursion was a day excursion to the Isle of Wight, to visit the recently re-opened home of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Farringford, and also Osborne House.

Autumn lectures

Recent autumn lectures (usually held in October, in Winchester) have included as speakers:

  • Professor Anne Deighton, Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College Oxford, and Professor of European International Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford
  • Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust
  • Professor Alan Barr (Head of Particle Physics at Oxford and Fellow of Merton College)
  • Dame Jessica Rawson, Warden of Merton College
  • Giles Henderson, CBE, Master of Pembroke College, talking about his experiences as a Head of House (2013)

The Autumn Lecture for 2019 was given by Sir Anthony Cleaver, MA, Hon FREng, FRCM, who was a former Chairman and Chief Executive of IBM (He retired from IBM in 1994).

The group is keen to engage with recent Oxford graduates in the area, particularly those who graduated in 2000 or later. The committee would welcome suggestions for events that would draw the most interest. If you would like to be kept in touch with these developments, especially if you are interested in helping to organise events, please email the group Secretary for further information.

If you live in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and wish to be kept in touch with group events, please email the group secretary and ask to be added to the contact list.