Advancing international education since 1953
St Clare’s, Oxford was founded by Anne Dreydel OBE and Pamela Morris in 1953. The college grew out of a willingness to rebuild links between British and European students after the Second World War.
Origination of our name
Our original name was The Oxford English Centre for Foreign Students. But, years later this changed to St Clare’s Hall, and then St Clare’s, Oxford, which it remains today.
Within the mid-1950s, students came from more than 12 Western European countries. Over time, through our strong reputation and the influence of word-of-mouth, this extended across the world.
Nowadays, we consistently attract students from over 40 countries every year and remain as faithful to our mission as we did when the college was first established. Our mission focusses on “advancing international education and understanding”.
Specialist course offering
Academic courses and short summer courses
Over the next decade, we extended our offering to include university-level and pre-university study as well as longer academic courses and short Summer courses. These short courses for Juniors, Teenagers and Adults are really popular and continue to attract students from all over the world. In fact, younger students choosing to study with us over the summer, regularly recommend us to their friends. This remains a clear indicator that our courses create a positive study experience year on year.
Then in the 1960s, we established links with universities in the USA to deliver a quality Study Abroad programme. By the 1970s, students were benefitting from the collaboration and choosing our academic programmes to earn credits towards their home study programme.
IB World School
In 1977, we introduced the International Baccalaureate Diploma for pre-university students, and gradually phased out A Levels. With this development brought a specialism in IB methodology. In fact, we are the first IB World School in England. Our sixth form continues to be one of the longest running IB schools in the world, only 13 other institutions have taught the IB longer than us. Our IB World School consistently achieves over the world average. As a result of our quality results, IB students regularly attain places at high-ranking universities.
Our adult courses are a stimulating alternative to the traditional English language course. Many of the courses cater for non-native speakers who would like to improve their language and academic confidence for study at an English-speaking university. These courses focus on deepening academic knowledge, improving study skills and learning something new.
Our expertise extends from delivering the IB Diploma to offering specialist teacher training courses. We have been delivering our IB Teacher Training Workshops, in cooperation with the IB, since 2002. Our Workshops cater for a wide range of teaching experience and professional development needs. All of our workshop events are small-scale, informal and friendly, and this maximises opportunities for networking. All of our Workshop Leaders are fully approved and authorised by the IB. We also invite our own IB practitioners to contribute to our events which enhances the experience further.
We also offer CELTA, DELTA Teacher Training courses and bespoke professional development courses for English language teachers.
Independent school in Oxford
We are a coeducational independent school in Oxford. Over the last 70 years our campus has grown to accommodate our increasing student population. From our original location on 141 Banbury Road, we have expanded to 25 residential houses in North Oxford. In 1999 we bought our premises on Bardwell Road, which has become the location of our International College for the last 23 years.
Named after one of our founders Pamela Morris, a building extension took place in 2014 to create more teaching spaces. The Pamela Morris building includes 3 well-equipped science laboratories, preparatory rooms, as well as 3 large Mathematics classrooms. The building was carefully designed to complement the surrounding Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
The following year in November 2015, our award-winning 121 residence and Art Studio opened. The Art Studio was purpose-built and offers an inspiring study environment. The residential spaces, located around a beautiful quad, provide separate en-suite study bedrooms for male and female students.