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[Note. An asterisk denotes a reference to a previously published or recurrent entry.]

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CHRISTOPHER PAUL HADLEY BROWN (PH.D. London), Chief Curator, the National Gallery, has been appointed to the directorship with effect from 1 June 1998.

Dr Brown will be a fellow of Worcester College.

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The following oration was delivered in Congregation on 18 March by M.E. CEADEL, MA, D.PHIL., Fellow of New College, on demitting office as Senior Proctor.

Senior Proctor: Insignissime Vice-Cancellarie, licetne Anglice loqui?

Vice-Chancellor: Licet.

Senior Proctor: Even in English, Mr Vice-Chancellor, it is difficult to convey how peculiar and how enjoyable the Junior Proctor, the Assessor and I have found our year, and in particular to do so within the small but variable attention span of an audience mostly itching to install its man and repair to its once-in-twelve-years luncheon.

The Proctorship is peculiar in the extent to which it fuses executive, legislative, judicial, and Ombudsman responsibilities: on a good day Proctors act as prosecutor, judge, and jury in respect of regulations which they themselves have made, and investigate complaints against decisions which they themselves helped to take. This fusion makes for a job which is big and complex enough to be absorbing; and each area of responsibility persuades its incumbents they are being useful.

In their executive role, which is shared by the Assessor, the Proctors may occasionally make a substantive contribution. Going further in a direction indicated by recent Proctors, we launched a proposal, adopted by the General Board last Friday as a farewell gift to us, that the appointment of examiners and setting of examination conventions become the responsibility of Faculty Boards. Much more important, however, by simply attending as many meetings as possible the Proctors and Assessor continuously offer the procedural assurance that even the most inbred of University committees is subject to scrutiny by college-chosen representatives of what the outgoing Assessor calls `the lumpen tutoriat'. The Proctors' power to issue examination regulations and emergency rules on their own authority enables the University rapidly to close loopholes exposed by disciplinary cases, and thereby to stay merely one step behind the most ingenious young minds in the country. And the Proctors' free-ranging judicial and Ombudsman roles allow the University to deal with most offences and complaints without resort to the much more time-consuming alternatives of disciplinary courts and tribunals.

We feel that it is as Ombudsmen that Proctors are now most useful. Admittedly, the Proctors' inability to intervene on matters of academic judgement inevitably disappoints some would-be appellants against what they believe to be harsh decisions by examiners, supervisors, or faculty boards; but the Proctors' willingness to take up procedural complaints in an independent and industrious manner seems to be appreciated. At present, such complaints are commonest in the area of graduate research, where the financial investment by students, particularly those from overseas, is considerable and where make-or-break decisions are made in relative isolation by a supervisor or pair of examiners. In future, complaints will presumably be received in greater numbers from undergraduates required to pay a tuition fee. This year we upheld, at least in part, five procedural complaints from graduate students and one from an undergraduate. Our conviction is that procedural standards are generally very high in this University; but, having discovered the odd pocket into which best practice has not penetrated, we strongly endorse the North Commission's recommendation of an Educational Policy and Standards Committee. In their Ombudsman role Proctors are also approached from time to time by Senior Members of the University: we are conscious of having rarely managed to achieve the substantive outcomes that they wanted, but hope that we were able to reassure them that due process had been observed.

The Proctorship is effective because to a remarkable extent it possesses that most elusive of institutional attributes: legitimacy. Those on the receiving end of the Proctors' activities—junior members hauled up before them, expert committee-goers faced with their uninformed interventions, distinguished scholars requested to explain their examining or supervisory practices, and senior administrators asked to lay bare their files—may curse them privately as busybodies, or worse, but for the most part accept, if only after a cooling-off period, that alternative forms of discipline and accountability would be worse. This legitimacy is in large part historical: the Proctors have been prominent University officers for three-quarters of a millennium. It is helped by transience: the individuals holding the office were potentially on the receiving end of proctorial intrusion last year, and will be so again next. It is helped by near-anonymity and ordinariness: few people ever know who the current Proctors are (and here I would bet that most of my listeners are properly ignorant on this score); and although Proctors are addressed at degree ceremonies as `egregious', they are acceptable precisely because they are nothing of the kind. Proctorial legitimacy in Oxford may also have been helped by a track record of common sense: mistakes made by past Cambridge Proctors allegedly contributed to their almost complete loss of power, as we discovered when the current office-holders came over earlier this term to see how real Proctors live. A legitimate Proctorship offers a safety-valve which protects Oxford from all but the most intransigent and litigious complainants: it may, for example, have helped the University escape some of the tensions which have latterly taken up so many column inches in the Cambridge Reporter. My final complacent observation on legitimacy is to note that the current state of the proctorship has found favour not only with Coopers & Lybrand and the North Commission but also with the undergraduate newspaper Oxford Student, which on 15 January 1998 published an article entitled: `Power, prestige, and sex appeal: the Proctors have it all their own way.'

(Since this article also spelled our names correctly, it convinced us that the future of British journalism is in uncharacteristically safe hands.)

The Assessorship is peculiar in a different way, being an instance of modern tokenism which has fought its way to credibility and recognition by North. Invented with effect from 1960 to provide a slice of central-university action for the women's and non-undergraduate colleges, it for years was part-time, plain-clothed, and lacking in a role. A succession of excellent incumbents helped it evolve: now it is full-time, kits itself out in sub-fusc and bands, and has acquired an obvious, important, and developing function as quasi-proctor for welfare and political correctness. The Assessor takes ultimate responsibility for the University's Access and hardship funds; and while this job could be handled by the University Chest, the Assessorship's quasi-proctorial status and method of election improve its relationship with the colleges. Among his many initiatives, the outgoing Assessor achieved what any self-respecting rational-choice theorist would know to be impossible: persuading colleges to take on the considerable burden of allocating Access funds for undergraduates on the grounds that they have more of the necessary information than the central University. The Assessor also undertakes many student-friendly activities, which this year included walking the streets in search of a bigger Students Union building. He or she also goes along to the worthier sort of University committee, a specialisation which has been all the more marked this year for the fact the Assessor unwisely missed the meeting at which we shared out the committee assignments. At least in principle, therefore, the outgoing incumbent had an answer when at one of this year's ceremonial functions he was asked by Prince Charles: `What do you Assess?' In order to complete their emancipation, future Assessors may want to acquire a distinctive gown and hood of their own—the Junior Proctor and I identified several promising if exotic prototypes while inspecting the textile store of the Pitt Rivers Museum—although if they do, it seems only fair that they should have to stand up, like Junior Proctors, while Senior Proctors orate their triumvirates into oblivion.

The full-time contribution of the Assessor has helped the outgoing proctorial team to develop what has been remarked upon as a particularly good relationship with student representatives. We have tried to respond constructively to suggestions made at our regular liaison meetings. One from a member of the OUSU Executive led us to alter our examination regulations to specify that colleges should always pass on student complaints to the Proctors whether or not they endorsed them. And we were able successfully to take forward a proposal from a JCR president for an experimental degree day at which college year-groups graduate together: this extra pleasure for you, Mr Vice-Chancellor, our successors, the long-suffering Bedels, and others, will happen on 2 October 1998, with those graduating this summer from Keble and New College being catered for in the morning and those graduating from Exeter, LMH and Pembroke in the afternoon.

The high quality of the OUSU and other student representatives whom we have encountered has been one reason why our year has been enjoyable; but there have been others too. It is flattering to be at the centre: on day three I had to co-authorise the University's monthly salary transfer of £9m, even the Junior Proctor expressing surprize when she none the less got paid. It is stimulating not only to have a self-importantly full diary but also to face the constant possibility of unscheduled extra excitements, such as the various attempts by the Socialist Students Society to break into the University Offices, one of which turned somewhat violent, or the warning that an aggrieved student with whom we were dealing might be carrying firearms. And it is liberating to play so many unfamiliar roles, such as barrister, detective, security guard, publisher, property developer, non-executive director, mediator, counsellor, returning officer, and administrator. Even if the three of us have acquired fewer transferable skills than we should, we have enriched our stock of fantasies about careers we never had.

We have also met a nice class of person on University business. Starting at the top, we have been struck by the number of engagements carried out, so affably, by the Chancellor. We have found both our Vice-Chancellors to be impressive and congenial, and have valued our regular meetings with them; furthermore, we have appreciated the unsung contribution to the University of their spouses, Stephanie North and Mary Louise Hume. We have admired the Chairman of the General Board, Glenn Black, one of our least contentious proctorial duties having been to preside over his re-election for an almost unprecedented third year in that most gruelling of jobs. Last night we were at a dinner to celebrate the distinguished career of the Registrar since 1979, Bill Dorey, who retires at the end of this month: we count ourselves fortunate to have had the opportunity to glimpse him in action within the University Offices, since his studied self-effacement has made him too little-known outside them. We have also been particularly impressed by Anthony Weale's, Peter Hill's, and David Owen's cheerful mastery of their vast agendas, by John Clements's concern to make financial management more transparent, by Richard Hughes's care in the community for graduate students, and by Sarah Wolfensohn's calm effectiveness in a difficult post. Singling out people in this way is, of course, as arbitrary as choosing Nobel laureates, albeit without the financial implications, so it is in the spirit of indicating the good sense and good humour of the University's administration as a whole that we mention ten further individuals whose merits we have been well placed to appreciate: Frances Barnwell, Fiona Campbell, Kate Davenport, Tim del Nevo, Christabel Lee, Rebecca Nestor, Jennifer Noon, Laurence Reynolds, Gill Sanders, and Jeremy Whiteley.

Whilst we are in prize-giving mode, we should also like to confer the title of most lucid committee-goer upon Ralph Walker of the General Board and Press Delegacy, and that of most amusing chairman upon Chris Perrins of the Buildings Committee; but our nomination in the category of most disorganised faculty or department will merely be whispered into our successors' ears; and we have abandoned our attempt to stigmatise this year's most irritating higher-education quango because we could not get beyond a long short-list. The Senior Proctor's award for cushiest committee goes to the Committee for the Archives: it held only two meetings, one of which turned seamlessly into a reception; and its refreshingly slender paperwork was dominated by picaresque accounts of sixteenth-century University life from the indexer of the records of the Chancellor's Court, Walter Mitchell. I expect that it was mainly for my benefit that he included the story of a townsman who in 1581 denounced one of my predecessors as `skurvie proctor, knave proctor, and shitten proctor', and on being reproved declared indignantly that `he had not used the expression "proctorly knave", but had only said "shitten proctor", which he appeared to think was unexceptionable. The proctor very properly contented himself with saying: "I thanke yow."'

That was mild compared with an exchange of courtesies in 1998 between two male students from the same macho culture which left our proctorial straight faces severely challenged, but which cannot, alas, be quoted or even paraphrased in front of a family audience such as this. I can, however, cite the three most meretricious arguments put to us while we were engaged in the normally serious business of hearing disciplinary cases or considering complaints. One student caught marking passages in a Bodleian book insisted that he had been public-spiritedly rescuing the key points which the author must really have wanted to emphasise from the mass of verbiage under which he had perversely almost buried them. Another student claimed that his examiners could not have assessed his finals papers accurately because his handwriting had been so bad. And a third defended his placing of excrement outside a fellow student's room as the expression of a deep commitment to non-violence.

We have also enjoyed the undeserved sympathy of colleagues who have assumed that Proctors and Assessors shoulder an oppressive burden. They have done so because in Oxford administrative jobs are normally piled on top of regular duties: indeed, as Senior Proctor-elect two years ago I missed Jeremy Black's oration and Toby Garfitt's installation lunch because, in addition to my CUF load, I was RAE co-ordinator for Politics and International Studies and needed every available minute of the time of my sub-faculty's one secretary to key the data for our 63 members of staff into the HEFCE software in time for the March 1996 deadline. That was oppression; by comparison, proctoring and assessing, with their release from almost all other duties, have, despite long hours and occasional crises, been a doddle, at least for those who are not worriers by temperament; and they also bring extra pay and sabbatical. Tell your friends in appropriate colleges aged between 29 and 51.

When I asked my two colleagues for points that should be stressed in this oration, the Junior Proctor's list began: `Fun of sharing office; limitless supply of biscuits.' This identifies the two factors which most explain why this outgoing team has enjoyed itself quite so much, namely camaraderie and back-up.

I have been extremely fortunate in my two comrades. The Assessor, Roger Goodman, having arrived at St Antony's from a Readership in Social Anthropology at Essex a comparatively short time ago, has treated his year in Wellington Square partly as field work which he will write up in Japan—a much more comprehensible culture to him—during the coming twelve months. He has shared his insights most entertainingly with the Junior Proctor and myself: indeed, based two doors down the corridor in the Proctors' Office, Roger has been a frequent and welcome visitor to the room we share, often drawn in by curiosity as to what the joke was.

The Junior Proctor, Annette Volfing, was elected to her fellowship in German at Oriel even more recently; and with hindsight it is surprising that at only one of the many functions we attended together were we introduced by a Head of House with the remark: `Meet the Senior and Junior Proctor. No prizes for guessing which is which.' Annette has been the cleverest and most amusing of colleagues. In particular, her ability to spot from a distance which students were at risk of forming an intention to commit a University offence as they assembled near the Examination Schools at 12.30 p.m. or 5.30 p.m. last summer, to disappear rapidly into the throng, and to emerge triumphantly with flour, eggs, water-pistols, and the satisfaction of having delivered Junior Members from temptation, was so uncanny as to convince many of us that it was very enlightened of the University to allow mere males to hold the office of Proctor. (Preventive proctoring of this kind, made possible by a rule change introduced by our predecessors, resulted in a sharp reduction in both trashing and fining in Trinity Term, and may have to be extended to Hilary Term examinations in future.) If the 1997–8 proctorial year is remembered, it will be for its marathon-running, rabbit-keeping, Chardonnay-drinking, Danish woman Junior Proctor with a pioneering line in leather sub-fusc.

I was assured by Roger and Annette that, as a Senior Proctor with nearly two and half times their previous length of service in the University combined, I brought to the team qualities which it would otherwise have lacked. However, when I pressed them as to what these were, they could identify only pedantry and a capacity to patronise the young, both of which they insisted had very occasionally proved useful. As a Politics tutor I have amused myself identifying comparators for University institutions: your relationship, Mr Vice-Chancellor, with the Chairman of the General Board resembles that of the President of the French Fifth Republic with his Prime Minister; in its transition from a body consisting exclusively of ministers without portfolio to one including departmental heads too, the General Board is adapting to increased pressures in the same way as the Soviet Politburo did after 1973 (not an analogy likely to comfort Glenn Black); Hebdomadal Council has more than a little of the House of Lords about it; and of course the college system can do a passable imitation of anarchical society as defined, Mr Vice-Chancellor, by your late colleague Hedley Bull.

Roger's, Annette's and my enjoyment of our year has also owed much to the excellence of our back-up, epitomised by the telepathic appearance of coffee and biscuits on our desks. Ours has been the first proctorial team to have had the services of Dr Brian Gasser, the Clerk to the Proctors, right from the start. (My listeners will immediately infer from its quaint title that the Clerkship to the Proctors can be traced back as far as April Fools' Day 1996.) Brian has quite simply been the perfect civil servant, firm but kind towards his charges. As perfect civil servants do, he has very occasionally felt obliged, in order to protect the dignity of the office from the indignity of its temporary incumbents, to do a Sir Humphrey on us—most notably when, without consultation, he rebuffed a suggestion from advertisers working for Morrells that the Proctors might like to help launch a new speciality brew, Proctors' Ale. I mention this partly to signal that, were Morrells sometime to produce an Ex-Proctors' Ale, Annette and I would be prepared to help it on its way: so, just conceivably, might some other ex-Proctors present, including my father-in-law, David Stockton, who gave this oration 26 years ago. We have also greatly benefited from the excellence of the Assistant Clerk, Linda Mason, and our secretaries Joely Gibbens and Caroline Beaumont, and of three people based outside the Proctors' Office but crucial to its operations: the Clerk of Schools, Catherine Hogan; the Head Clerk, Philip Moss; and the inimitable University Marshal, Ted Roberts, who awarded us six out of ten for our first degree ceremony and thereafter maintained a tactful silence. So well organised and supported is the Proctors' Office nowadays that we felt some twinges of embarrassment, Mr Vice-Chancellor, whenever we visited your office, where secretarial excellence and registrarial propinquity are deemed to be an adequate substitute for a Clerk to the Vice-Chancellor. We take it for granted that the comparatively new-fangled position of Vice-Chancellor should not be quite so well looked after as the truly ancient position of Proctor; but we feel that the gap might be narrowed somewhat.

Our proctorial year began with the North Vice-Chancellorship and the Lucas Report and ended with the Lucas Vice-Chancellorship and the North Report. Financially, its first half saw the financial corset being partially unlaced following the University's spectacular success in the 1996 RAE; but its second half was dominated by a college-fees crisis in which a disastrous job freeze was avoided only by creativity at the centre. The year began without a site for the Business School, and ended with one which will enhance the city if technical obstacles can be overcome. This was the year in which Magister in Negotiis Administrandis first dropped from a Senior Proctor's lips at a degree ceremony, though I understand it is marketed under the brandname `MBA'. The Proctors can reassure those members of the University who had reservations about the Business School that, judged by its capacity to generate its share of challenges to the smooth running of the examination system, it is definitively one of us. Ceremonially, the year has been all the more congenial for the fact that the Lord Mayor has been Bill Baker, the Mansfield Road groundsman: he presided with style over the granting to the University of the Freedom of the City, though this has not emancipated us from planning controls or traffic schemes. The undoubted highlight of the year was the visit on 11 July 1997 of the President of the Republic of South Africa, who combined dignity and warmth to a remarkable degree; and to my earlier list of roles Proctors play should be added holding Nelson Mandela's water glass while he addressed this Convocation House from where I am standing. Sadly, last month saw the untimely death of the first woman Proctor, Theo Cooper of St Hugh's, who was installed eighteen years ago.

Mr Vice-Chancellor, since my listeners are almost audibly cursing the Buildings Committee of the 1630s for having put in such incongruously puritanical seating, I shall now pass to my concluding list of thanks: to Thames Valley Police, whose local Area Commander, Cressida Dick, is coincidentally the daughter of a former Senior Proctor; to the University Constables, George Davies, Michael Harvey, Colin Goodenough, Jonathan Solesbury, and the part-time `Specials'; to the Bedels, Gerry Holman, Michael Simpkins, Gary Jones, and, following Steve Brogden's recent retirement, Valerie Boasten, the first woman in this historic post; to the Verger, John Dobson; and finally to our Pro-Proctors, George Ratcliffe, David Palfreyman, Richard Cross, and Mike Spivey, who have helped with post-examinations policing and have covered for us during summer holidays and at almost all University Sermons. We have, however, thoughtfully spared them the burden of the social occasions: I compute my tally, including my own college's special functions, as 35 dinners, 16 lunches, and 54 parties; and Annette and Roger could claim comparable productivity. Dedication to duty on this front has paid off: information I gleaned at one party led the General Board to change tack on one sensitive and complex issue; and the weight I put on through proctorial socialising was on one occasion the marginal factor enabling the front door of the University Offices to be held against an attempt to push it in. I mention this to assure those who issue invitations to Proctors and Assessors that they are serving the University's best interests.

Mr Vice-Chancellor, you and I must now wrestle momentarily with the Laudian Statutes for the second time in six months. Last time, I was admitting you; this time, you are discharging us into the curious half-life to which former Proctors and Assessors are doomed, in order to make way for what the North Report (in paragraph 5.60) calls `fresh input annually'. Let us do so expeditiously, so as to minimise the interregnum during which, as the Marshal likes to warn us, the University is dangerously proctorless.

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On the recommendation of the Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum, the General Board has appointed J.J.L. WHITELEY, MA, D.PHIL., Fellow of St Cross College and Senior Assistant Keeper in the Department of Western Art, as deputy for T.H. Wilson, MA, Fellow of Balliol and Keeper of Western Art, for the period from 11 May to 11 October 1998, during which Mr Wilson will be on sabbatical leave.

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The composition of the electoral boards to the posts below, proceedings to fill which are currently in progress, is as follows:

Professorship of Public Health

                                Appointed by

The Principal of Linacre 
(Chairman)                Mr Vice-Chancellor
The Master of St Cross    ex officio
Professor D.A. Warrell    St Cross College
Dr Sian Griffiths         Oxfordshire Health Authority
Sir Kenneth Calman        Council
Professor N.E. Day        Council
Dr P. Troop               General Board
Dr K.A. Fleming           General Board
Professor Sir David 
Weatherall                Clinical Medicine Board
Professor R. Peto         Clinical Medicine Board

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Professorship of General Practice

The Master of St Cross
(Chairman)                   Mr Vice-Chancellor
The President of Kellogg     ex officio
Dr P. Davies                 Kellogg College
Professor L. Southgate       Council
Professor A.-L. Kinmonth     General Board
Dr L.T. Newman, London       General Board
Dr K.A. Fleming              General Board
Dr R.J. Mather               Oxfordshire Health Authority
Professor Sir John
Grimley Evans                Clinical Medicine Board
Professor Sir David
Weatherall                   Clinical Medicine Board

Professorship of Economics

The Principal of Linacre 
(Chairman)                  Mr Vice-Chancellor
The Warden of All Souls     ex officio
Professor P. David          All Souls College
Professor D.F. Hendry       Council
Professor D.M.G. Newbery    General Board
Professor K.W.S. Roberts    General Board
Dr J.N.J. Muellbauer        Social Studies Board
Professor P.D. Klemperer    Social Studies Board
Dr M. Stevens               Social Studies Board

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The following documents on matters of general interest with regard to Higher Education policy, funding, or other significant developments have recently been received within the University Offices. If any member of Congregation would wish to have a copy of any of these documents, he or she should apply to the office of the Deputy Registrar (Administration) (telephone: (2)70003). Where relevant an Internet reference is also given.

HEFCE recurrent grants to Higher Education institutions for 1998–9 and distribution of maximum aggregate student numbers. (This document summarises HEFCE's allocations of recurrent funding and maximum aggregate student numbers to institutions for the academic year 1998–9.) Also available on

The Learning Age: the Government's Green Paper on Lifelong Learning and the Government's response to the Dearing and Kennedy Reports. These documents, the contents of which are clearly identified, are available in full on A summary of the Green Paper is available on request.

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The Board of the Faculty of Music proposes to award this prize in Trinity Term 1998, provided that there is a candidate of sufficient merit.

The prize (which will be of the value of £1,000 but which may be augmented should the need arise, at the discretion of the Board) is open to men or women without regard to nationality, age, or membership of a university. It may be awarded either

(a) to assist in the furtherance of research in the philosophy, history, or understanding of music. In this case, candidates must satisfy the judges that their programme of research lies within this field, and should provide testimonials or other written evidence of previous attainment which demonstrate their fitness to undertake it. Nine-tenths of the prize money will be paid to the prize-winner at the time of the award, and the remaining one-tenth on approval by the judges of a brief report indicating fulfilment of the programme; or

(b) to assist in the publication of work already completed in one of the subjects mentioned above. In this case, candidates should submit one copy of the work concerned and explain why the prize is needed in order to ensure publication.

Entries, which should include a list of those expenses associated with the project for which the prize is sought, must reach the Heather Professor of Music, Faculty of Music, St Aldate's, Oxford OX1 1DB, on or before Friday, 12 June.

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One or more prizes may be awarded by the examiners in Physics in the Final Honour School of Natural Science each year for performance in that examination, and for outstanding work in project work and practical physics by candidates for that examination. No special application is required. The value of the prizes may be varied. No candidate shall be awarded both the Scott Prize and the main Gibbs Prize for performance in the Physics Final M.Phys. in the same examination. Candidates for the Gibbs Prizes must be members of the University who, at the time of taking the examination on which the prizes are awarded, have not exceeded the twelfth term from their matriculation.

The prizes available in 1998 are as follows.

Performance in the Examination

The Scott Prize for Performance in the Physics Final M.Phys. Examination (£500)

The Gibbs Prize for Performance in the Physics Final M.Phys. Examination (£250)

The Scott Prize for Performance in the Physics Final BA Examination


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M.Phys. Project Prizes

Smith System Engineering Prize for the overall best M.Phys. project


Gibbs Prize for the best use of experimental apparatus in an M.Phys. project (£100)

Tessella Support Services Prize for the best use of software in an M.Phys. project (£100)

Oxford Lasers Prize for a project in Optical Physics (£100)

Oxford Cryosystems Prize for a project in Condensed Matter Physics


LeCroy Research Systems Prize for a project in Particle and Nuclear Physics (£100)

BP Prize for a project in Theoretical Physics (£100)

BP Prize for a project in an interdisciplinary or general area of Physics (£100)

Prize for a project in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics (£100)

Prize for a project in Astrophysics (£100)

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Other prizes for Practical Work

Magnox Electric Prize for submitted BA practical work or essay (£100)

Gibbs Prizes for Practical Work in Part A (up to three at £50)

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Faculty of Music

THE BAND OF INSTRUMENTS, with vocal soloists from the New Chamber Opera, will perform Benedetto Marcello's 1731 oratorio Il piante e il riso delle quattro stagioni at 8.15 p.m. on Friday, 27 March, in the chapel, New College. Tickets, costing £7 (£5) are available from Blackwell's Music Shop or at the door.

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Annual Report 1996–7

In 1996–7 the Clubs Committee received grant income of £12,607 from the Committee for the Council Departments and a contribution of £10,925 from the per-caput levy on colleges; revenue from rent and secretarial services amounted to £4,480. These funds were used to provide support and facilities for the student clubs, societies and publications electing to register with the Proctors under the regulations of the Rules Committee. Approximately 220 non-sports organisations registered in this way, representing a wide range of social, cultural, political, religious, academic and charitable activities taking place throughout the University. The Clubs Committee was also able to provide some facilities for University sports clubs (whose primary support is through the Committee for Sport and Senior Treasurers' Committee).

Clubs Committee support continued to be channelled mainly through its premises at 13 Bevington Road, where secretarial services are available and offices and storage facilities are rented out. Some £29,000 was spent on staff, premises and running-costs, including a contribution towards the cost of providing access to the University's IT network and the purchase of a replacement photocopier. For part of the year, secretarial services to student organisations were reduced because of the protracted ill-health of the long- serving part-time secretary in the Clubs Committee Office; following a successful return to duties in Trinity Term 1997, this member of staff decided to retire early and a successor has been recruited. During the same period the part-time assistance provided by a University Constable based in the Proctors' Office was withdrawn after the individual concerned retired and his replacement was assigned to full policing duties under the agreed reorganisation of the Proctors' Office. The Clubs Committee made successful bids to the Committee for the Council Departments and the Conference of Colleges for additional funding to allow the recruitment of a part-time Clubs Officer. Based in 13 Bevington Road with effect from Michaelmas Term 1997, this new member of staff will monitor and advise on the accounts submitted by student treasurers as part of the termly registration process and will assist with the running of the Minibus Hire Scheme.

The Clubs Committee also continued its scheme of providing financial assistance to registered student organisations (in the form of grants, loans and underwriting guarantees): some £3,000 was allocated in 1996–7. The Committee had budgeted a sum of the order of £5--6k for this purpose and in view of the failure to allocate all the monies available it reviewed the guidance given to applicants (in the expectation of receiving more, and better-quality, applications in the future).

A deficit of £4,813 was recorded on the Committee's account at the end of the financial year. In order to make its major capital purchases the Committee had budgeted for a greater overspend than this and in any event was able to cover the deficit from accumulated balances.

The Committee's third main kind of support, funded separately and offered in collaboration with the Committee for Sport and a local company, remained the subsidised Minibus Hire Scheme and associated Driver Training Course. The Committee is pleased to report that for a second year these arrangements gave student clubs and societies access to a plentiful supply of high-quality vehicles hired at economic rates, and helped to ensure that there were no minibus accidents involving personal injury.

Under the Assessor's chairmanship, the Committee and its Clubs Sub-Committee each met once a term. The Committee is particularly grateful for the enthusiasm and contribution made by the student members in determining how best to support the clubs, societies and publications which are such an important part of University life.

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