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Vacation residence
Generally speaking, the College counsels that leaving the College during each vacation is highly desirable to allow for a period away from the stressful environment that the College can present and that this will ultimately help with health and academic performance, especially before exams.

In recent years large numbers of undergraduates have submitted requests to remain in residence during vacations, and particularly the Easter Vacation, for a variety of reasons related to their normal course of study. These cases should be distinguished from requests for accommodation for some other purpose, such as an internship in Oxford, to await a degree ceremony, or for mid-vacation attendance at a training session for a University sports team. The former will take precedence in the event of limited availability. Requests for accommodation for other purposes may be met if rooms are available.

Vacation residence should be regarded as a privilege, granted to help a student deal with particular difficulties. It presents a substantial administrative burden, and raises the question of how the demand for College accommodation for academic and related purposes is best balanced with other demands, not least those of the Old Members and Conference Offices. Uncertainty about whether they will be granted vacation residence is also a source of anxiety among Junior Members. To clarify the circumstances under which the College may allow such residence, the guidelines below are suggested.

  • 1. Dates of residence

    In general, undergraduates should expect to vacate College accommodation (including the removal of belongings) by 10am on Saturday of week 8 of each term, and to return to residence on Wednesday of week 0 of the following term (notwithstanding the special arrangements for new first-year undergraduates, or those with extended terms).

    (Moral tutors should discuss plans for vacation work with their students during the preceding term, and should encourage them to gather the appropriate materials and/or arrange remote access to online resources to allow them to work effectively during the vacation away from Oxford.)

  • 2. Requests for additional residence

    Requests for additional residence in week 0 will be approved by the Domestic Bursar’s Administrator. Requests for week 9 will normally be granted by the Dean, without any need for authorisation from Moral Tutors, provided there is clear justification on the basis of: (a) academic grounds (examples are provided below); (b) limited availability of international travel, or (c) participation in a University sporting event.

  • 3. Residence and examinations

    Students sitting University examinations (including Supplementary examinations and vivas) in weeks 9 or 10 of any term will normally be permitted to occupy the room they occupy during term until a full day  after their last exam (e.g. if the last exam is Friday of 8th, to remain until Sunday); those sitting such examinations in week 0 will be permitted to take up residence up to five days before their first exam. All such cases must be brought to the attention of the Domestic Bursar’s Administrator by the circulated deadline.

  • 4. Overseas students

    The College will allow students whose home address is overseas (excluding the EU, Switzerland and Norway) and who are unable to return home for reasons of cost or jet-lag to remain in residence during the Christmas and Easter vacations. This is likely to mean moving to St. Aldate’s House or the Cardo Building for the vacation, if the student is not already resident there.

  • 5. Easter vacation

    Whilst reiterating the general advice that leaving Oxford is highly desirable during a vacation, the following are entitled to apply for residence between week 9 of Hilary Term and week 0 of Trinity. If the student is normally resident in Main College or Carrodus Quad, this will involve moving to St. Aldate’s House or Cardo.

    2nd year

    Biological Sciences
    Biomedical Sciences
    Experimental Psychology
    Medical Sciences
    Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics

    3rd year

    Biochemistry
    Biological Sciences
    Biomedical Sciences
    Chemistry
    English
    Experimental Psychology
    Fine Art
    History and joint schools
    Law
    Material Science
    Mathematics and joint schools
    Medical Sciences
    Music
    Oriental Studies (except Chinese and Japanese)
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics
    Physics
    Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics

    4th year

    Biochemistry
    Chemistry (n.b. covered by extended term)
    Law with LSE
    Material Science
    Mathematics and joint schools
    Modern Languages and joint schools
    Oriental studies (Chinese and Japanese only)
    Physics and joint schools

    Because of limited capacity, priority will be given to those in their final year.

  • 6. Special circumstances

    At the request of the Tutor for Undergraduates, in exceptional circumstances the College will allow students whose home environment is distressing to the point where productive work is not possible to remain in residence. This is likely to mean moving to St. Aldate’s House (or the Cardo Building at Christmas and Easter) for the vacation, if the student is not already resident there.

    Governing Body may from time to time grant permission for additional vacation residence to support College outreach, fundraising, admissions activities, or for choir members at gaudies, on the recommendation of the appropriate College committee, having checked the availability with the Conference Office. The accommodation will be provided where it is available, which is unlikely to mean the student’s term-time room.

    Other than for a special arrangement for the Easter vacation for those taking final University examinations (see below), or the exceptional cases noted above, residence after week 9 and before the following week 0 will only be permitted for those students who can demonstrate (by production of a directive from the relevant University Department) that they are required to remain in Oxford to use University facilities such as laboratories or art studios for the purposes of the course for which they are registered.

Examples of academic grounds justifying vacation residence in week 9:

Where there is a requirement (to be confirmed by the Moral Tutor or the relevant University Department) for a student to remain in Oxford to use:

  • laboratory or hospital facilities
  • art studios
  • library facilities not accessible remotely
In all cases the supporting statement must explain why it is necessary for the student to use such facilities during the vacation, rather than in term-time.