View of the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford University
View of the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford University

Vice-Chancellor's inaugural cross-curricular programme begins

The Vice-Chancellor's Colloquium, the first programme of its kind at Oxford, aims to bridge a potential divide between STEM, social science, and humanities students.

It brings together Oxford’s world-leading academics and interdisciplinary student teams, providing a forum for undergraduates to work outside of their subject area and respond to the big challenges of our time.

The initiative was created in response to the call by Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Irene Tracey, to offer opportunities for students to develop a range of cross-curricular skills related to numeracy, data analysis, critical thinking, curiosity, imagination and communication. It has been developed by the University’s Department for Continuing Education.

Professor Tracey referenced the importance of this last year in her first speech as Vice-Chancellor, saying that ‘the next generation needs to understand maths, but it also needs to understand itself’.

I am delighted that the first Colloquium of its kind at Oxford is launching this term, and that our students have shown such interest in this initiative.

My hope is that it will stimulate broad and creative thinking and encourage our students to see the value of developing and embracing a wide spectrum of skills that can bridge the STEM, social sciences, and humanities divide, which will ultimately help us in tackling big global challenges such as climate change.

Professor Irene Tracey, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University

Over the next eight weeks, 200 undergraduate students from across the collegiate university will participate in The Vice-Chancellor's Colloquium. The inaugural programme will focus on understanding the causes, impacts and solutions to the global climate crisis, where research stretches across the sciences and humanities.

A series of keynote lectures delivered by senior academics from across Oxford’s four academic divisions will bring together two professors from different disciplines – for example earth sciences and history – to respond to a big question and explore how their academic disciplines and research methodologies provide insights. Students will also participate in college-based discussion groups led by DPhil student facilitators, and interdisciplinary team projects.

Find out more about The Vice-Chancellor's Colloquium on the Department for Continuing Education website.