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 recently held reception for freshers, and also about plans for a schools meeting about application to Oxford to be 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 with speaker

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight group will hold its spring lunch for 2017 at 1pm on Friday 5 May in Winchester, at the Holiday Inn Hotel on the outskirts of the city. The speaker will be Dr Tim Hands, who recently took up the post of Headmaster at Winchester College.

Drinks will be available from the hotel bar next to the lunch room before the lunch, at whatever time people wish to arrive. 

Dr Hands read English at King's College London,  and went on to postgraduate study at Oxford, where he was associated with both St Catherine’s and Oriel College.

Dr Hands’ career in teaching led to his appointment as Headmaster of The Portsmouth Grammar School in 1997 and Master of Magdalen College School in Oxford in 2008. He has appeared as a spokesman for the independent sector on educational matters,  especially partnership between the sectors, and on university admissions.

He was elected to the Committee of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference in 2003, becoming chairman of its University Committee one year later, and Chairman of the Conference for 2013-14. Dr Hands has also written books on English literature, in particular on the author Thomas Hardy. 

The cost of the event will be £28 per head. Please email group Secretary Anne-Marie Drummond to book and payment details will be sent to you. Please note that payments should be made by not later than Friday 21 April.


Summer excursion

The 2017 excursion will take place on Tuesday 11 July and will take the form of a daytime visit to the Watts Gallery and house near Guildford. Further details about the visit will be available in May 2017.


Autumn lecture 2017

The AGM and autumn lecture takes place on Tuesday 3 October and will be given by Professor Anne Deighton, Emeritus Professor of European International Politics and a Fellow of Wolfson College Oxford. Professor Deighton is an expert on European politics and has in particular been involved in recent discussions of Brexit. 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.

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 to attend 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 and plan to stage it again next year.


Freshers’ Reception

For the first time in September 2016 the group held a social event open to all Hampshire-based Oxford candidates who had achieved a place at Oxford for October 2016. The Tutor for Admissions and Schools Liaison Officer from St Edmund Hall attended the event together with a number of current undergraduates. About 25 freshers attended and clearly enjoyed and appreciated the event, which the group will build on and repeat in September 2017.


Spring Lunch

Recent events have included talks from Sir Ivor Roberts, President of Trinity, on ‘Conversations with Milosevic and other war criminals’; 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 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 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 Group 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.