23 march 2011

Kellogg College comes of age


Kellogg College
Kellogg is the University's most international college and the largest graduate-only college

Oxford’s college for lifelong learning students celebrates reaching the age of maturity itself as it turns 21 this month.

With more than 660 students from 73 countries, Kellogg is the University’s most international college, as well as the largest graduate-only college. It has close links with the University’s Department for Continuing Education, the Department of Education and other departments active in areas of professional and part-time study.

Professor Jonathan Michie, the President of Kellogg College, said: ‘As a young college with mainly part-time graduate students, Kellogg is far from a typical Oxford college. Many people inside and outside Oxford may not even be aware of us, just as they may not be aware of the 15,000 students passing through the Department for Continuing Education every year who are admitted to Oxford in addition to its 20,000 full-time students.

'Yet the college and its students represent an important part of Oxford. It is incredible to think that just 21 years ago, someone wanting to take a postgraduate degree while continuing with their careers or other responsibilities couldn’t return – or come – to Oxford. Kellogg has opened the scholarship of Oxford to audiences who could never otherwise have benefited. And it has allowed Oxford to fish in a bigger talent pool to get the best students, no longer limited to those able to quit their jobs and careers and return to being full-time residential students – and Oxford is the better for it.’  

Students at Kellogg College study on a range of graduate courses, from creative writing to evidence-based healthcare. The first postgraduate students came to study part-time master’s and doctoral degrees in English Local History and Software Engineering – both courses are still thriving, and programmes such as the MSt in International Human Rights Law are growing in popularity.

Last year saw the first students studying a new Master’s in Sustainable Urban Development, and in October incoming students will be enrolled on new degree offerings including a Master’s Degree in Literature and Arts, a Master’s in Surgical Science and Practice, and a Master’s in the History of Design.

As a young college with mainly part-time graduate students, Kellogg is far from a typical Oxford college

Professor Jonathan Michie

Tes Noah Asfaw lived in London and worked as an administrator before coming to Kellogg to study part-time for a Masters in Creative Writing. He says: ‘I came to Oxford to broaden my horizons, not just in literature but in several fields, such as history and economics. Kellogg College has played a major role in helping me achieve that. Fascinating and diverse seminars are held routinely within the college. These range from a visit by the Speaker of the House of Commons to a lecture on the changing relations between Church and State in twentieth-century Spain.

‘The best thing about Kellogg though is the diversity of the student body. Friendships made here - and even one-off conversations - have sparked off new ideas and directions for me to pursue.’

The college is home not only to students but to a number of research centres. It hosts the Oxford Centre for Mutual and Employee-Owned Business, which is currently advising the government on mutualising the Post Office. Its Centre for Creative Writing regularly holds seminars and master-classes given by the likes of PD James and Julian Barnes.

Kellogg College traces its origins to the start of the university extension movement in the 1870s, but did not formally come into being until March 1990. It was named in honour of Mr W K Kellogg on the 1 October 1994, in recognition of the support given by the W K Kellogg Foundation to the University over the preceding decades. 

To mark its 21st anniversary, the college held a special Foundation dinner for college members, as well as a Gaudy for old members with Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield delivering a pre-dinner lecture on 'Will 20th-Century technology change our minds?’

This year also marks a number of steps forward in the college’s wider development – it has just purchased an additional house on Bradmore Road in North Oxford to extend its student accommodation. This year for the first time Kellogg is also sharing the cost of Clarendon Scholarships for students thanks to a fund-raising dinner with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who addressed a packed Sheldonian Theatre as part of the college’s Bynum Tudor lecture series.