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  • Selwyn College is delighted to announce its Year 10 Women in STEM online taster day. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, and on Wednesday 17th February 2021 prospective students can get a glimpse of what it’s like to undertake study in these fields at a world-class university.

    Women in STEM

    You’ll have the chance to:
    - attend subject lectures by Cambridge academics
    - learn about what happens at university and how to make A Level choices with members of our admissions team
    - get your questions answered by our panel of current Cambridge science students.

    This event is open to any woman currently in Year 10 (Secondary 4, S3 or equivalent) at a state school who is curious about pursuing sciences at university. In particular, we’re looking for attendees who have an interest in Maths, Computer Science, Engineering and Natural Sciences (especially Chemistry, Physics and Materials).

    To attend, you need to register by signing up through this online form: Registration closes at 5pm, Friday 12th February. Please direct any questions to Grace, our Schools Liaison Officer at

  • Mariana Ramos


    Mariana Ramos de Lima has been elected the 2021 president of the MCR – the body which represents Selwyn’s postgraduate students.

    Mariana is a second-year PhD student in Music, specialising in medieval music from the Iberian Peninsula. She is from Portugal, and last year she was the MCR’s Treasurer. She now becomes a full member of the college council and the governing body.

  • Our alumnus John Sentamu, the former archbishop of York, has been given a peerage in the political honours list published just before Christmas. He will become a member of the House of Lords in the New Year, and will sit on the crossbenches as a non-party member.

    Dr John Sentamu

    Dr Sentamu studied theology at the college in the 1970s, and he was awarded his PhD by Cambridge University in 1984. He later became an honorary fellow of Selwyn, and also received an honorary degree from the University. He was the Church of England’s first black archbishop, and retired from his role in the summer of 2020.

    We congratulate him warmly on this further recognition of his extraordinary life. You can read more about him here:


  • Most of the scaffolding has been removed from Selwyn’s new building – giving a chance to see it properly for the first time. On the corner of Grange Road and West Road, the building will house the Bartlam library and the Quarry Whitehouse auditorium; and it is expected to be handed over to the college by the contractors Barnes Construction in the early spring of 2021.

    New Library

    The auditorium will be on the ground floor of the building, with the library on the first and second floors.


    The project has been fully funded by college alumni and friends, with more than 1000 people contributing towards the cost of £12.6m. We are hoping to start inviting people to look round, health regulations permitting, in the summer of next year. The building should be fully operational for students and our wider community next autumn.

  • Congratulations to Issy Roberts who has been elected president of the JCR, the body which represents our undergraduates, for the year 2021.

    Issy is a second-year HSPS student, specialising in sociology. She is from south-west London and is currently the JCR’s Disabled Students and Mental Health Officer.

    She will join the college council and become a member of the governing body in January.

    Issy Roberts

  • StaySafeCambridgeUni

    Please additionally see the COVID-19 documents page.

    The master Roger Mosey wrote to all students at Selwyn on September 22nd about the term ahead:

    "Dear all

    We’ve already welcomed a number of students back to the college – joining the small community that’s been here throughout the health emergency – and now we’re prepared for the full contingent of undergraduate and postgraduate students to arrive in the next couple of weeks. We’re delighted that the college is buzzing with activity again; but I have a very important message to share.

    If we are to continue through this academic year with the maximum activity and the minimum disruption, it will require all of us to live our lives as safely as possible. We must take the greatest possible care of ourselves as individuals, and also think continuously about our responsibilities to others. That applies to me as master, to the fellows and staff and to every single student. Only by doing so will we minimise the risks.  Looking after each other, a key part of Selwyn since its foundation, is now more important than ever.

    So please read thoroughly and carefully all the latest guidance. This gives an overview across Cambridge:

    And this section, as an example, explains one of the main ways we’re going to organise ourselves within colleges – by having student ‘households’ who are able to socialise safely with each other:

    As in other colleges, student households will be the foundation stone for living together at Selwyn. A household is defined by the sharing of kitchen and, where appropriate, bathroom/toilet facilities. In general this means that your household will be formed by the other students on the same landing as you in a staircase or those with whom you share a hostel kitchen. In a number of cases - staircases C to F in Old Court, ground floor of H, parts of J and K, ground floor and first floor of N, ground floor and first floor of P,  ground floor and first floor of Q, ground floor and first floor of R - students will be part of a household with others on the floor above/below. In Selwyn the smallest households consist of four students; the largest of 11. The vast majority include between six and eight students. Specific guidance on which students will make up your household will follow very shortly.

    Generally the university-wide advice is supplemented by a lot of detail that we have developed here within the college. We’ve been working with student and staff representatives – and taking the latest external advice – through the past months; and there is a full reopening plan that has been approved by the college council. Let me highlight three key points:

    • We have adopted a colour-coded status system to allow us to react quickly to national and local developments.  Any move to a new status will be agreed by the college council, which includes JCR and MCR representatives. A copy is attached.
    • We have also developed a student protocol to summarise the key things you can do to help everyone stay safe at Selwyn. It will be circulated later this week, along with more details about testing and isolation. Attached is the college social distancing and face coverings policy which is now in operation.
    • Along with most of Higher Education we have come to the view that we cannot responsibly allow overnight visitors in the college for the foreseeable future, because all the advice we receive is that this would significantly increase the risks to everyone and it wouldn’t be possible to operate safely and fairly within a household system.  

    While you will notice that a lot has changed here at Selwyn to keep everyone safe, a lot is also still the same. Provided national guidance continues to allow it, in-person small group teaching wherever possible will remain a cornerstone of our approach. We have put a marquee in Old Court and screens in the servery to make sure we can still offer sit-down meals; and college bar is open, with the marquee doubling up as extra social space in the evenings.  

    More will follow later this week. It's important to say that the guidance nationally and locally will change, sometimes at short notice. We will update you whenever it does. But the responsibility sits with each one of us to know what the college is asking of everyone, either because it is legally required or because it is best practice; and because of the seriousness of Covid, as a community we will not be able to tolerate any wilful breaking of the rules.

    Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your tutor or with the senior tutor, bursar, vice-master or me direct if you have any immediate questions. But in the meantime, despite these challenging times, a warm welcome whether you’re new here or returning; and I’ll look forward to seeing everyone again very soon.

    Roger Mosey"



  • Lord Deben


    The college is delighted to announce that it has elected Lord Deben, better known as John Selwyn Gummer, as an honorary fellow.

    Lord Deben is an alumnus (SE 1958) and his distinction comes from his political championing of environmental causes. He is chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, a position he has held since 2012; and he is a former environment secretary, described as “the best environment secretary we’ve ever had” by Friends of the Earth. He was called “the environment secretary against which all others are judged" by BBC Wildlife magazine. Among his achievements was the passing of the 1995 Environment Act, which set up the Environment Agency; and the start of a Landfill tax, which was the first environmental tax in the UK.

    He has a long track record in politics and government: as a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party under Ted Heath in the 1970s, and chairman under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. Some of his roles were controversial, including his time as agriculture minister during the BSE crisis. He was on the Remain side during the Europe referendum, later describing his commitment to the EU as “the greatest peacetime project of our lives, which through arrogance and poisonous self-regard we now seek to undo”.

    Lord Deben was president of the Cambridge Union during his time here. He is also a former president of our alumni association. He is interviewed in the most recent edition of the Selwyn magazine, where he was asked whether there was any previous connection with the college given his middle name is Selwyn. His reply: “It’s entirely a coincidence – I was named after my father and all his sons were called Selwyn. I originally planned to go to Oxford but I was lucky enough to get an Exhibition to Selwyn.”

  • The topping out ceremony took place on November 4th for the Bartlam library and the Quarry Whitehouse auditorium. That means the builders have reached the top of the structure and it is close to completion. The project has cost £12.6m, and the new building is expected to open in the second half of 2021.

    Photographed lending a helping hand are Mike Nicholson, the college's development director who led the successful fundraising campaign; and Mike Sewell, senior tutor, who chairs the Selwyn library committee.

    Topping Out

  • Freshers Concert


    It’s a Selwyn tradition to invite our musical freshers to give a recital at the start of the academic year. We went ahead with an event in Hall on Sunday October 25th with social distancing measures in place – and, as you’ll see from the video, additional cleaning measures too.

    The video includes excerpts from a number of performances, and we congratulate our new students on their instrumental talents. The Selwyn College Music Society will continue to hold in-person events through the term, as long as health regulations permit. You can read more about the SCMS here:

    Video here.

  • Four new fellows were installed in a ceremony in the college chapel on Tuesday October 6th. The installation was led by the master, Roger Mosey, and it was attended by a smaller number of senior members than usual because of the health restrictions. But it had all the traditional features with the fellows making their declaration of loyalty to Selwyn; signing the fellows’ book; and then being guided to their stalls in the chapel.  

    Fellows 2020

    We are delighted to welcome (from left to right):

    • Professor Robert Tasker, medicine
    • Professor Grant Stewart, medicine
    • Dr Anna Lippert, Sir Henry Wellcome postdoctoral fellow
    • Dr Lynn Dicks, zoology

    A full list of Selwyn’s fellows can be found here: