…I’d move Oxford up north. For a centre of worldwide academic eminence, Oxford’s founders were surprisingly stupid when deciding where to put it. If I were establishing a community of scholars and the only two spaces left on Earth were in Hell and the Thames Valley, I’d have to toss a coin. The unfortunate proximity of South-East England to the Continent ensures winters are ludicrously cold, while building a city between two rivers doesn’t seem like such a bright idea now that global warming means constant rain on North Parade (which is, typically of Oxford, actually south of South Parade). Starry-eyed Southerners will champion Oxford’s proximity to London nightlife as a selling point, but all I’m saying is that I’d never heard the phrase ‘I’ve been mugged again’ until I met a Londoner. Although possibly they’re just referring to paying £20 to get into a club.No – as we approach Oxford’s second millennium of academic excellence, it’s clear that drastic reform is needed. We simply must move Oxford up North.This might seem like the kind of radical governance that’d have Congregation forcing me out of the job by half-past nine in the morning (‘You’re going to do what to me? Write a strongly-worded letter to the Telegraph? Oh, please, Professor, anything but that!’), but a move up North would alleviate many of the university’s problems. Few colleges have the space to accommodate students on site for the duration of their course. Some build annexes, but space is at such a premium in central Oxford that many are closer to Coventry than Carfax. If Oxford were up North, living out would become affordable. Rooms in student houses cost about £60 per week in my home city of Liverpool, while at Edinburgh University, for £75 a week, I could live in the grand district of Morningside. Colleges would find acquiring land for annexes no problem, as derelict mills in Lancashire go for about a tenner, and are a damn sight more beautiful than the kind of sixties monstrosity erected by most Oxford colleges.The quality of food in Hall often evokes consternation, the catch being that colleges are either accomplished but too expensive (such as my own, with delicious formals that, at £8, cost about as much as a deposit on a house in Newcastle) or cheap but uninspiring (such as a certain rather academic college, where the fact that this is the JCR food rep’s third successive year in office can only mean that the students are too busy revising to eat in Hall ever.) Yet kitchen facilities in many colleges are poor or non-existent, and eating out in Oxford is prohibitively expensive for those on tight budgets. Up North, however, eating out is gloriously cheap. According to a national newspaper’s study of various UK locations, Oxford has the unhealthiest air, more polluted even than in London, and breathing it is apparently the equivalent of smoking 60 fags a day – but minus the steadying effect on the nerves. In my first term at university, I developed a chronic asthmatic wheeze which disappears whenever I return to Liverpool, and recurs every time I come back to Oxford. Similarly, as a fresher I acquired a nasty rash on my arms and legs until I was informed that it was probably the drinking water, the River Thames being the most polluted in the country. I stopped, and the rash disappeared. If for no other reason then, as Vice-Chancellor my main concern would be the health of students, something which would be far easier to maintain just a little further from its unfortunate location.by Heather Ryan
Matthews Mmopi, a recent Harvard graduate from South Africa, and David Obert, a second-year Harvard Medical School (HMS) student, have been selected as Rhodes Scholars, and will join the University’s four U.S. Rhodes winners at the University of Oxford next fall.A member of the Class of 2011, Mmopi was selected as one of 10 winners from the Southern Africa region, which includes Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, and Swaziland. At Oxford, Mmopi plans to pursue a master’s in philosophy in development studies. Obert, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, and a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, is one of three representatives from the prairie region of Canada. He was nominated for the Rhodes by Harvard Medical School.“The Rhodes Scholarship, to me, represents an unrivaled opportunity to further my capacity to champion political consciousness and freedom in the world,” Mmopi said. “I would like to examine the role of gender in shaping the political, economic, and social opportunities available to individuals in order to evaluate how African societies can close gender gaps in economic and political participation and access to education and health.”While at Harvard, Mmopi completed an internship at the Harvard College Women’s Center, an experience that helped spur his interest in gender issues in Africa. He also volunteered at Harvard’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, served as programing coordinator for the Harvard Black Students Association, and served as a senior counselor in the Summer Urban Program at the Phillips Brooks House Association.In addition, Mmopi served as director of enterprise for the Harvard Africa Business and Investment Club, as student co-chair on the Ann Radcliffe Trust/Women’s Center Community Fund Advisory Board, and as president of the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College. “I believe my studies in economics and African studies coupled with my internship at the Harvard College Women’s Center helped to shape my intended course of study at Oxford. Through these experiences, I examined gender, political, and socioeconomic factors as causes and solutions to Africa’s development problems.”David Obert at the Kibale Health and Conservation Centre in Kibale, Uganda. Obert has been named a Rhodes Scholar. Photo courtesy of David ObertObert to pursue double master’s degreeAs a teen, two concussions from hockey and ski racing left David Obert struggling to concentrate, unable to stay awake in class, and in peril of being unable to finish high school. Now the HMS second-year student has been named a 2012 Rhodes Scholar, one of 83 men and women from 14 countries and regions around the world to win the prestigious award.Created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, the scholarships cover all costs for two or three years of study at Oxford. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes.At Oxford, Obert plans to pursue a double master’s degree in public policy and global health science.Obert spent the summer working on a joint Harvard/NATO study examining how foreign militaries contribute to health sector stabilization in fragile states. Specifically, he focused on a case study examining the military response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake as it related to human health. He worked with Vanessa Kerry, instructor in medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and director of the Global Public Policy and Social Change Program in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at HMS, and Margaret Bourdeaux, a core faculty member of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Global Health Equity.Obert says he has always had an interest in how the world works on a macro scale — seeing the geopolitical landscape and watching how large organizations and governments interact.“I could see myself having a career a little bit like my supervisors from the summer,” he said. “I’d love to have the clinical side and patient contact — which brought me to medicine in the first place — but also be able to make an impact on another level, helping shape how big organizations work and how large scale responses to health needs are rolled out.”— Jake Miller/Harvard Medical School
Inside 23 Downfall Rd, Virginia.The single-level home has four bedrooms including a master suite with walk-in robe and ensuite, second bathroom, kitchen, study, covered deck and large living room that opens out to an outdoor area and swimming pool. Inside 23 Downfall Rd, Virginia.Mr Hutchins said the home would appeal to families. “It’s got a great family feel,” he said.“I think buyers will particularly like the single-level layout and flow.“I have no doubt this home will make a family very happy.” Inside 23 Downfall Rd, Virginia.More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019The property sits on a 787sq m block and features period details such as picture rails, VJ walls, bay windows, and polished timber floors. “There’s a lot of character to this home,” Mr Hutchins said.“It’s like nothing else in the street.” Inside 23 Downfall Rd, Virginia.There is also a separate laundry, double-car garage, shed and garden. The home at 23 Downfall Rd, Virginia.“It needed a lot of work, but we saw its potential,” Mr Hutchins said. “We extended, doubling the property in size.“But we were also very mindful of keeping the original features.“We brought it back to its former glory.” 23 Downfall Rd, Virginia.THIS1930s home has been beautifully renovated.Owners Lynn and Steven Hutchins said it was the features of 23 Downfall Rd, Virginia, that enticed them to purchase the property five years ago.