Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan is designed to form a basis for our policies, operational plans, and day-to-day decision-making over the coming five years, and to help us to meet our charitable objects. Our Vision for the College will be secured by our work on four Strategic Priorities. Each year, our Trustees’ Annual Report will assess our progress towards our goals, and we shall hold an interim review of the Plan in its third year. It will be underpinned by our enhanced financial planning process and new risk management policy, and further strengthened by the formation of a Strategic Advisory Group drawn from our alumni, to help the College identify opportunities and challenges in the longer term.


A unique home for world-class learning and education within a world-class university

For more information, please contact the Senior Tutor or the Development Director at Magdalen.

As a college of the University of Oxford with such a remarkable tradition of excellence, Magdalen is perfectly placed to embody Oxford’s collegiate ideal, offering the focus on the individual that a small-sized academic community can provide combined with access to the vast resources of a world-leading university. Magdalen makes a huge contribution to the success of Oxford’s teaching, research, cultural life, sport, and many other activities, and Magdalen’s students and academics enjoy all the advantages that go with University membership. But the College is an independent – and independent-minded – charity, which will continue to set its own standards of endeavour and achievement.

Priority 1

The pursuit of excellence in teaching and research

Magdalen leads the way in the provision of Tutorial Fellowships, which are at the heart of Oxford’s tradition of research-based teaching in tutorials, ensuring that undergraduate students are taught individually by experts who are at the forefront of their disciplines. We aim to appoint the best tutors and to seek out the best undergraduates, whom we select solely on the basis of their academic merit and aptitude for their chosen subject, irrespective of educational or social background. While most of the teaching for Magdalen’s graduate students is arranged by University departments, we also aim to make a major contribution to the academic development of our graduate student community. To all our students we offer outstanding financial assistance and pastoral support. The College promotes research opportunities for its undergraduates, graduates, and academic staff, and is seeking to double the number of Junior Research Fellowships it offers each year from two to four. Our goal is to maintain our commitment to world-class education in the face of growing financial pressures, and to increase opportunities to benefit from the highest quality teaching and engage in the highest quality research.

Means of achievement: Policies on recruitment of academic staff, student admissions, teaching, research support, and pastoral support; Size and Shape plans; Library and archives strategy; Fundraising for Tutorial Fellowships, Junior Research Fellowships, student support, and graduate scholarships.

Measures of success:  Appointment of outstanding researchers and teachers; Examination results; Research activity and outputs; Completed student dissertations and projects; Student feedback; Prizes and distinctions.

Priority 2

An outstanding collegial experience for all members of the Magdalen community

Magdalen has worked to establish an extensive stock of housing and excellent facilities for its members, but is seeking to improve significantly its accommodation for students and staff, and to install the best modern facilities and equipment wherever possible. The College aims at the same time to enhance the intellectual and cultural life of all its members. Magdalen has long prided itself on its relaxed and tolerant atmosphere, devoid of pressure to conform to any stereotype or set of views, but with unambiguous ambitions towards academic and extra-curricular success. Its diverse community enjoys participating in a wide variety of sports and in music, drama, and every other aspect of the College’s vibrant cultural life. For many of those who form a lifelong attachment to Magdalen, these activities are among their best memories of their time here. We are seeking to expand these opportunities further, to increase levels of participation, and to ensure that every member of the Magdalen community may benefit from the range of activities on offer.

Means of achievement:  Plans for the improvement of accommodation and facilities; Policies to promote diversity and equal opportunities; Human Resources strategy; Fundraising for the costs of clubs, societies, and cultural activities.

Measures of success:  Completion of projects for improving accommodation and facilities; Programmes of events and activities; Increased participation in College and University clubs and societies; Achievements in sport and culture; Feedback from students, staff, and alumni.

Priority 3

The enhancement of our beautiful environment and unique cultural heritage

Magdalen’s buildings and grounds are stunning, and its history is astonishing. The importance of the College’s environment for the quality of the working life of its students and staff is immense, and its maintenance requires constant effort and attention. We shall be striving not only to preserve and protect the glorious surroundings we have inherited, but also to increase access to these, whatever challenges this may pose, and to contribute to the pride of future generations in the College’s heritage.

Means of achievement:  Refurbishment and improvement strategies for College buildings and grounds; Fundraising campaigns for specific heritage projects.

Measures of success:  Increased accessibility of Magdalen’s buildings and grounds for disabled members of the College and visitors; Achievement of fundraising targets and completion of improvement and refurbishment projects.

Priority 4

The communication of Magdalen’s character and goals to a global audience

With such surroundings and so many centuries of achievement, it can be difficult to convey to the outside world the dynamism and modernity of the education which Magdalen provides and the quality of the experience on offer for prospective students and staff. We pursue academic excellence at the interface between teaching and cutting-edge research, in a diverse community, with students and tutors from all over the world and from a vast range of social and educational backgrounds. Our respect for the past is combined with a focus on the future in all our undertakings, from nurturing the talent of young scholars and researchers to promoting science, technology, and entrepreneurship through our Oxford Science Park. We shall work hard to communicate our cosmopolitan outlook to external audiences, to attract the best students and staff to apply to Magdalen, and to maintain the College’s pre-eminence in the face of increasing global competition.

Means of achievement: Outreach and communication strategies, embracing student recruitment, widening access, widening participation, and public engagement; Fundraising for access and outreach activities.

Measures of success:  Applications for undergraduate and graduate places and for academic posts; Magdalen’s contribution to the University’s progress in meeting its access targets; Feedback from school pupils and teachers.