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.

Activities and group membership

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.

Forthcoming events

Spring lunch

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight group will hold its spring lunch for 2018 at 1pm on Friday 11 May in Winchester, at the Holiday Inn Hotel on the outskirts of the city. The speaker will be Professor Lucie Cluver who will be speaking about children with AIDS in Africa. Professor Cluver is Professor of Child and Family Social Work and a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. Drinks will be available from the hotel bar next to the lunch room before the lunch, at whatever time people wish to arrive. 

The cost of the event will be £29 per head. Please email group Secretary Marina Shilo to book and payment details will be sent to you. Please note that payments should be made by no later than Friday 22 April.


Summer excursion

The 2018 excursion will take place on the first week of July (date TBC) and will take the form of a day excursion to the Isle of Wight to visit the recently re-opened home of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Farringford, and also Osborne House. Further details about the visit will be available in May 2018.


Autumn lecture 2018

The AGM and autumn lecture takes place in early October. Speaker and further details will be available nearer the time.


The group welcomes suggestions for future visits or other activities which might be of interest to its members. Please email any suggestions to the group Secretary.

Outreach activities

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’.

Recent past events

Schools meeting about applying to Oxford

In March 2017 for the first time the group collaborated with Peter Symonds Sixth Form college in Winchester and Oxford's St Edmund Hall to hold a meeting for secondary schools in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight about applying to Oxford. Parents and potential applicants were invited and more than 100 students attended the event.

They were given the opportunity to hear about the Oxford admissions process from the college's Admissions Tutor Robert Wilkins and Schools Liaison Officer Luke Maw. Several locally-based current Oxford undergraduates and St Edmund Hall undergraduates also attended, and discussed the reality of student life at Oxford.

The group were delighted with the success of the event; a similar ‘Oxford Explained’ event was held in February 2018 at King Edward VI School in Southampton, and it is planned to stage a repeat of the Winchester event at Peter Symonds College in March 2018. 

All these events have been made possible by the strong support of the group's work given by St Edmund Hall, which is the Hampshire link college in Oxford. Huge thanks are due to the college’s Admissions Tutor, its Schools' Liaison Officer and the wonderful student ambassadors who come along to help with the events.


Freshers' reception

For the second time in September 2017, the group held a social event open to all Hampshire-based Oxford candidates who had achieved a place at Oxford for October 2017. The Chairman and other OUS (Hampshire & Isle of Wight) members hosted the event together with a number of current undergraduates from Hampshire who kindly came along to chat to freshers about their experiences at Oxford. Once again, about 25 freshers attended and clearly enjoyed and appreciated the event, which it is hoped will be repeated in September 2018.


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 already attended one ‘Oxford Explained ‘ event in Southampton in early 2018, and will be participating in further work in the future, including acting as mentors for Oxford applicants in support of the Oxbridge programme of another local Sixth Form College, Barton Peveril in Eastleigh. 


Spring lunch

Recent events 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); and 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. 


Autumn lectures

Recent autumn lectures 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); and Dame Jessica Rawson, Warden of Merton College.

Younger alumni

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. 

Contact the group

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.