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1. Who we are and what we do

  • Legal framework
  • Location and contact details
  • How the College is organised
  • Lists of and information relating to organisations for which the College has responsibility, those it works in partnership with, those it sponsors and companies wholly owned by it
  • Student activities

Brief history

Selwyn College was founded in 1882 in memory of George Augustus Selwyn, Bishop successively of New Zealand and of Lichfield.  The College was incorporated by Royal Charter on 13th September 1882 and granted the status of a full college of the University of Cambridge on 14th March 1958. 

Selwyn has grown in size over the years and its site expanded in the late 1960s with the building of Cripps Court.  Three phases of a new court, Ann’s Court, were completed in 2005, 2009 and 2021.    

The College was one of the first in Cambridge to go mixed, admitting women in 1976.  Today Selwyn is home to around 370 undergraduates, over 250 postgraduate students, drawn from universities all over the world, the Master and around 60 Fellows.

'Selwyn College 1882-1973’ by W.R. Brock and P.H.M. Cooper is available on the College website.  A pdf can also be downloaded here.

Information concerning the Selwyn College Arms and Selwyn Boat Club History is available on the College website. 

Legal framework

The College Charter of Incorporation can be viewed here. 

The College's constitution is contained in College Statutes made under the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1923 and amended by the Selwyn College Cambridge Act 1988. 

The College is recognised as a constituent college of the University of Cambridge and is authorised under the Education Reform Act 1988 to grant degrees.                  


The College’s corporate title is 'The Head, Fellows and Scholars of Selwyn College'.

The College registered with the Charity Commission on 12 August 2010 (Registration Number: 1137517). 

Location and contact details

Selwyn College
Grange Road

General enquiries (Porters’ Lodge)

Tel: (01223) 335846


Freedom of Information Officer

Jennifer Phillips


Tel: (01223) 335892

The College’s website URL is:   

Maps of Cambridge showing the College location and a map of the College site may be found on the website.

How the College is organised

The arrangements for governance of the College are set out in its Statutes.  Ultimate authority in the College resides in the Governing Body.  On 14 June 2023 revised Statutes were approved, moving the role of trustees of the charity to the senior members of the College Council.  The Governing Body retains oversight but the College Council takes day to day responsibility for ensuring that there is an effective system of internal controls and that financial records are accurately maintained.  It is also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the College and for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. 

College Council sets down rules, regulations, policies and procedures governing all aspects of College life. As far as students are concerned, these cover such matters as admission, allocation of rooms, educational matters, accounts and fees, prizes and scholarships for academic work, studentships for graduate study, and discipline and are published in the Undergraduate Guide, the Graduate Guide and the Accommodation Handbook

Minutes of the unreserved business of Governing Body and College Council meetings are published on the College website.

Day-to-day management and the execution of policy, are the responsibility of various college officers such as the Master (Head of House), Vice-Master, Bursar (who is responsible for the finances, estate and administration of the College, Senior Tutor (who has overall responsibility for the admission, education and welfare of undergraduates and graduates), Admissions Tutors and the Dean, who is responsible for student discipline.  Current membership of the Governing Body can be found on the College website.  

There are a number of committees in the College, some standing, some appointed by the Council for a particular purpose. Members of committees are appointed by the Council, and membership of standing committees is reviewed annually. The committees make recommendations to the Council and decisions are taken by the Council and Governing Body. 

Details about how teaching is organised can be found in the Studying at Selwyn pages of the student guide.

The ‘University of Cambridge Learning and Teaching Strategy’ is available from:

University of Cambridge Quality Assurance gives a brief description of the role of the central and College bodies in quality assurance and enhancement. Available from: here

Lists of and information relating to organisations which the College has responsibility for, those it works in partnership with, those it sponsors and those wholly owned by it.

The College works in partnership with the University of Cambridge to provide academic services and pastoral support to students of the University.

Student activities

Information about the JCRS (for undergraduate students) and the MCRS (for graduate students) can be found on the following websites: 

These websites are not edited by the College.

These JCRS and MCRS are independent entities run by students and are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Both have their own constitutions which are available here (JCR) and here (MCR).