AEW: The Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women in Oxford (1879 -1921).

Bodleian Libraries: The University Library, established by Sir Thomas Bodley between 1598 and 1602.

Chancellor: The head of the University, elected by Convocation.

College: Established by Royal Charter, full college status allows Oxford Colleges to self-govern and legislate for themselves. They are academic communities within the university, and usually consist of students, academics, research and other staff.

Congregation: Congregation is the sovereign body of the University. It consists of about 5,500 members, comprising academic staff, heads and other members of governing bodies of colleges and societies and senior research, computing, library and administrative staff.

Convocation: Convocation consists of all former student members of the University who have been admitted to a degree (other than an honorary degree) of the University, and of any other persons who are members of Congregation or who have retired having been members of Congregation on the date of their retirement. Convocation does not meet as a body; its only functions are to elect the Chancellor and the Professor of Poetry. Membership is conferred automatically on graduation.

Degree: A qualification awarded to students who have successfully completed a course of study.

Delegacy: The organization or committee responsible for a particular department or area within the university - e.g. Delegacy of Women.

DPhil: Doctor of Philosophy.

Faculty: A body of academics working in a specified discipline, organised as a department within the university.

Fellow: Senior members of colleges who, together with the college head, constitute the governing body of the college. 

Hebdomadal Council: The chief policy-forming committee or ‘cabinet’ of the University, elected by Congregation and consisting of 18 members with the Vice-Chancellor as Chair and the Registrar as Secretary.

Matriculation: The ceremony which admits women and men to membership of the University.

Michaelmas, Hilary, Trinity: The names used for the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms.

Principal, Dean, Censor, Master, President, Provost, Rector, Warden, Head of House: Different terms for the heads of Oxford colleges. The heads of Oxford’s former women’s colleges are Principals.

Proctors: Proctors have a number of responsibilities under the statutes and regulations of the university and generally ensure that the statutes, regulations, customs, and privileges of the University are observed.

Promulgate: To announce or publish a statute.

Responsions: Once the most usual of several examinations admitting students taking a degree course to the University.

School: A particular subject of study within the University.

Statute: A law or decree of the University or of a college.

Subfusc: Formal attire worn by students and academics on formal occasions, including matriculation, examinations and graduation.

Vice-Chancellor: The Vice-Chancellor is the principal academic and administrative officer of the University. She or he chairs the Council of the University, the General Board of the Faculties and the Finance Committee of the Council.


For more information on Oxford terms, acronyms and usages, please visit University of Oxford Glossaries