• Thursday 26 March 2015
  • NO. 5092
  • VOL. 145

Consultative Notices

Proposals for Honorary Degrees to be conferred at the Encaenia in 2016, and for Degrees by Diploma

Members of Congregation are encouraged to suggest the names of people on whom such degrees might be conferred. Encaenia honorary degrees are conferred at the University's annual ceremonial event and degrees by diploma are conferred on heads of state and royalty. When considering possible honorands, the Honorary Degrees Committee will focus on individuals in the following categories:

1 those of high academic distinction in the fields of research and scholarship of specific interest to the University of Oxford

2 those distinguished in the visual, literary, musical and performing arts

3 those distinguished in business and industry

4 those who have played a distinguished role in public life, for example in contributing to progress and change in society

5 those who have made a significant contribution to the activities of the University of Oxford – such individuals would normally also fall into one of the categories above.

Within those categories the Honorary Degrees Committee will aim to produce a balanced list, which takes account of the global dimension that characterises this University's activities. The Honorary Degrees Committee has adopted a target that half of the final list of names proposed to Congregation for the conferment of honorary degrees be women and/or minorities. Members of Congregation are therefore encouraged to nominate individuals of conspicuous distinction with particular reference to diversity.

Honorary degrees will not be conferred on anyone who holds, or who has retired from, a resident teaching, research or administrative post within the University or in any college or other society, except in exceptional circumstances such as distinguished service outside the terms of his or her paid service. In these circumstances, a proposal for an honorary MA may be put forward. Further information is available from the Secretary to the Honorary Degrees Committee (contact details are given below).

Nominations for honorary degrees at the Encaenia in 2016 and for degrees by diploma should be submitted on the approved application form. The form can be downloaded  from (single sign-on required). Alternatively, copies may be obtained from the Secretary to the Honorary Degrees Committee (tel: (2)80199, email: The completed form should be sent to the Secretary to the Honorary Degrees Committee, University Offices, Wellington Square, or by email to by 8 May, under 'Strictly Confidential' cover.

While informal soundings within the University will often be desirable, every effort should be made to ensure that publicity is not at any stage given to any specific proposal for the conferral of an honorary degree. All nominations will be considered in strict confidence by the Honorary Degrees Committee, which submits its report to Council at the beginning of Michaelmas term. After discussion, Council will report back to the Honorary Degrees Committee, which will arrive at a list of honorands to put to Congregation.

The names of people on whom degrees by diploma and honorary degrees have recently been conferred may be found in the 2014–15 University Calendar, pp539–543.

This year's honorands are:

Professor Wallace Broecker
Professor Dame Ann Dowling
Professor Sir Richard Evans
Dame Hilary Mantel
Jessye Norman
Professor Ruth Simmons
Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub

General Notices

Gazette publication arrangements

This is the final Gazette of Hilary term. Publication for Trinity term will begin on 23 April and the normal deadlines will apply.