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Hugh and Us

Posted: December 21, 2019

Our alumnus Hugh Laurie, who studied here from 1978 to 1981, was installed as an honorary fellow of Selwyn in a ceremony on December 13th in chapel. The honour recognises his extraordinary achievements as an actor, writer and musician.

During his time at the college, Hugh rowed in the university boat race against Oxford; and he began his writing and comedy partnership with Stephen Fry, who was a contemporary at Queens’ College. Since then he has become one of the most famous faces in film and television worldwide, with two major new roles revealed early in 2020: as the captain of a space ship in Avenue 5, and as Mr Dick in The Personal History of David Copperfield.

Hugh said after the installation: “There are very few things as solidly fixed in my life as Selwyn – emotionally, artistically, architecturally and academically. It’s remarkable to return, and I am truly honoured to be an honorary fellow.”

He is seen with the vice-master Dr Janet O’Sullivan, who presented him for the installation; and afterwards being congratulated by fellows, including Hugh’s family member Haruko Laurie.

Christmas video 2019

Posted: December 12, 2019

We’re proud to present our Christmas video for 2019, which features the choir singing ‘O come, all ye faithful’ in the college chapel. This year also included are sequences filmed around Selwyn as we celebrated the season. So you will see some of the college’s festive decorations, and then students going to formal hall for what was the first of three special Christmas dinners. We hope it gives a good sense of this special time of year; and, if you like it, please share the video as widely as you want. It’s also available on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/Selwyn.College.Cambridge.


Open to all

Posted: November 28, 2019

Yorkshire has been the focus of much of our recent outreach work – with primary school pupils travelling to the college to see what Cambridge is like, and college staff visiting Leeds for activities in the HE+ programme.

In the last week of November, we hosted fifty-two Year 4 students from Leeds, who took part in an “Information Scavenger Hunt” which required discovering a range of information including the names of the Master’s dogs! This is part of a programme aimed at building interest early in attending university and showing that Cambridge is a welcoming place for people whatever their background.

For older children, there was the launch of Selwyn’s new HE+ programme in Leeds involving Year 12 students from seven schools: Allerton High School, Elliott Hudson College, Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College, Ossett High School, Pontefract New College, St Mary’s Menston and Woodhouse Grove.

The event took place at Notre Dame and the sessions included a talk by schools liaison officer Chloe Cupid (centre in photo) on ‘what is a lecture?’, then a lecture by Dr Kirsty McDougall (left) on forensic phonetics. Also in the photo are teachers Kitty Graham (Notre Dame) and Clare Lucas (Elliott Hudson) with Becky Taylor (Cambridge Admissions Office).

This picture shows participants from Elliott Hudson College with Chloe and Kirsty.

In the picture – New portraits in Hall

Posted: November 11, 2019

A number of new pictures have been put on display in the college Hall. They’re part of a series taken by the photographer Jeff Overs, which began with portraits to mark 40 years of co-education in the college. Now the portfolio has been expanded to include students, staff and Fellows from 2019, with the aim of showing the breadth and diversity of the Selwyn community.

Our homepage photograph shows three Chemistry students: Zosia Staniaszek, Jack Entwistle and Mads Studholme. It’s now to be found on the south side of Hall, alongside High Table.

Also featured are three undergraduates studying Modern & Medieval Languages: Alannah Young, Mary-Hannah Oteju, and Cathy Wardle. Their photograph hangs on the north side of Hall, near the main entrance.

Selwyn Remembers

Posted: November 8, 2019

The college will be marking Remembrance – and honouring the dead of recent conflicts – on November 10th and 11th.

The main event on Sunday will be a service in chapel at 6pm. The introduction in the printed programme says:

“We gather as a community of all faiths and none to reflect on the human cost of conflict and to honour the fallen. This is an opportunity to remember those who died fighting in the First and Second World Wars, and all those who have suffered because of those wars. It is also an opportunity to remember those who have died in war or as a result of conflicts before and since. As well as a service of remembrance, it is a time to reflect on the ways in which war and violence continue to tear apart lives, communities, and countries. It is also a service of hope; hope that a future without violence, hatred, fear, and misunderstanding can be possible. The service will consist of anthems sung by the choir, accompanied by a series of readings. In addition, the names of those listed on the college’s war memorials will be read out, and we will hear a brief reflection on what it is to remember.”

To reflect the faiths within Selwyn, there will be readings of Jewish and Muslim texts – in Hebrew and Arabic respectively – as well as from Christianity.

The traditional two minutes of silence is being observed in chapel at 11am on Sunday morning and again on Monday morning at 11am – representing the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when the First World War ended.


Academic ambition

Posted: October 26, 2019

Selwyn continues to attract new Fellows to the college to ensure that its teaching and its ambitions remain as strong as possible.

Eight men and women were welcomed to the Fellowship for the 2019-20 academic year. They are, from left to right:

Dr Emily Hancox (Law), Professor Leonardo Felli (Economics), Dr Lotte Reinbold (English), Dr Mathias Nowak (Astrophysics), Dr Jörg Haustein (Divinity), Dr Ronita Bardhan (Architecture), Mr Martin Pierce (Bursar-elect) and Dr Tom Smith (History).

They add to the international diversity of Selwyn. Professor Felli is Italian; Dr Nowak is French; Dr Haustein comes from Germany; and Dr Bardhan is from India. We will be joined in January by an American historian: Dr Robert Lee.

The full list of senior members of our Governing Body can be found here: http://www.sel.cam.ac.uk/life-selwyn/the-fellowship/

Our 2019 Freshers

Posted: October 7, 2019

Undergraduate matriculation took place on Monday October 7th. Students formally became members of the college and of Cambridge University at a short ceremony in Hall; and then the traditional photograph was taken in Old Court, accompanied this year by a little light rain. We welcome all our new students, and wish them the very best for their new life here.

New Graduate Students

Posted: October 4, 2019

Our new graduate students officially became members of the college and of Cambridge University on Friday October 4th.

Those students who are new to Cambridge took part in a matriculation ceremony in the Chadwick Room, and then moved outside into Old Court for the traditional ‘team photo’ with the Master, Senior Tutor, Chaplain and Praelector. Everyone joining the MCR – the Middle Combination Room which represents graduate students – was also invited to a dinner in Hall.

We warmly welcome all who are joining us at Selwyn for this new academic year, and wish them every success in this latest phase of their academic careers.

Who’s moving in?

Posted: September 3, 2019

We’re looking forward to welcoming our new undergraduates, who’ll be joining the college – and moving into Cripps Court (below) – in October.

Here’s what we know about them statistically. There are 117 students expected: 57 men and 60 women. Of the home students, 74.7% are from state schools – compared with 73.9% last year, and a Cambridge University target of 64%.

21 of the new undergraduates are based abroad: 8 from the EU, and 13 from the rest of the world. The countries represented in addition to the UK are Belgium, China, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Poland and Singapore.

A lot of attention is rightly paid to increasing the social diversity of our students, and Selwyn has exceeded all of the Cambridge University widening participation targets:

· low participation neighbourhood 18.2%; University target 13.0%
· output area classification 22.2%; University target 13.1%
· index of multiple deprivation 17.2%, University target 8.5%

For the first time Cambridge participated in UCAS adjustment and this was successful: four students came to us via this route.

Admission standards remained very high: incoming students averaged 2.3 A* in the arts, 3.1 A* in the sciences – and 2.7 A* per incoming student overall. The adjustment students averaged better than three A*.

Congratulations to all those who are joining us.

Expanding the team

Posted: August 16, 2019

At least eight new Fellows will be joining Selwyn during the next academic year. They come from all over the world – including the United States, France, Germany and India – and represent a range of subjects from architecture to astrophysics.

Among them will be Dr Lotte Reinbold, an existing bye-Fellow of the college, who takes on a college teaching post in English and a full Fellowship. Dr Reinbold’s research includes dream poetry, from the late Middle Ages to the late Early Modern period. She is also interested in Chaucerian afterlives and reception, medievalism, and the children’s fantasy writer Diana Wynne Jones.

We will introduce more of our new Fellows in the coming weeks.

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