Harris Manchester College (HMC) is the only college in the University of Oxford dedicated to taking students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, aged 21 or over. This means we are a vibrant and diverse community, with students of different ages from a wide range of backgrounds and countries. For some this is a second or third chance at higher education; for others it is a second or third degree; and for some it is a rethinking of their life path and a much-valued opportunity to think about what they want to do next.
We believe that the future of education is life-long learning. As people live longer and technology changes the workplace, we recognise that more people will come to higher education at different times in their lives. We aim to ensure that age is not a barrier to an Oxford education.
HMC is known as a very friendly college, with a genuine spirit of cooperation between the fellows, staff and students. This creates a mutually respectful and supportive atmosphere, in which everyone strives to do their best, and where community life is highly valued. The wellbeing of all our community members is important to us, and we seek to create a college that is sustainable in every way.
Our values have remained rooted in the origins of the college and the radical perspective of our founders, epitomized in the college’s motto: truth, liberty, and religion.
Truth – knowledge - is important because teaching and research are at the heart of all that we do; we foster excellence, understand the importance of expertise, and educate and equip our students to make a positive impact.
Liberty means that we can stand outside establishment prejudices, champion for all to be free from irrational and unjust constraints, and encourage each other in being free to work together for the common good.
The college was founded for those who could not accept the beliefs of any particular denomination, and this open spirit continues today. There are no religious tests and never have been – that has given the college a radical dissenting edge, putting inclusivity and diversity at the heart of our values, and enabling us to be bold in our decisions.
Although we were founded in the eighteenth century, we arrived in Oxford at the end of the nineteenth century and occupy an enviable central position, with fine buildings and accommodation.