Accommodation Policy

Date: 30/04/2020

Accommodation at ST. CLARE’S, OXFORD

This document must be read in conjunction with the College Regulations and other St. Clare’s policy documents.

Why provide College accommodation?
Our aim as an institution is to advance international education and understanding. We bring together students from as many countries and cultures as possible so they can interact with each other in academic and non-academic settings in a safe and tolerant environment. Our boarding staff provide the care and support necessary to allow students who may be experiencing their first extended trip abroad to flourish in an atmosphere of academic excellence, respect and tolerance for others.

The residential educational experience
Within College residences many of the aims of international living can be achieved. Students from diverse cultural backgrounds live with each other and can realise appreciation and respect of different practices and views. The experience of living away from home in itself is educational, requiring students to become increasingly responsible for their daily lives. Students have to take charge of their affairs in a more independent manner, a good preparation for adult life.

College location
The location of our College in Oxford affords our students many advantages over students in other educational establishments. Oxford is a city with a rich cultural heritage. It has two universities, galleries, museums and architecturally significant buildings, all of which provide opportunities for enriching experiences for those who live in the city.

Residential arrangements
St. Clare’s has 15 residential houses in the beautiful conservation area of North Oxford.  St. Clare’s provides its students with comfortable accommodation in individual, single-sex houses. Each house has a residential boarding staff who is responsible for the smooth running of the house and who provides support for the students who live in that house.

The College is constantly upgrading its accommodation. Due to the age of the houses, their different sizes and different architectural features, each house is unique. Residential IB and PIB students are all full–board though each house has a kitchen where light snacks can be prepared and  every house has a laundry where students wash their personal clothing. Sheets, pillowcases and towels are laundered by the College. Students are encouraged to personalise their rooms.​

Houses are single sex i.e. either for males or females. Where possible houses will be mixed between IB1 or IB2 students though most of the Pre-IB students will be on the 121 site. There are three College houses at 121 Banbury Road that are specifically reserved for younger students, two for males and the other for females. 

Allocation of accommodation
On entry to the College or courses within the College, all students will be placed to ensure mixing of cultural and language backgrounds within houses and within rooms. During the first year, every student shares a room with someone who is not from their own country who speaks a different native language. Nationality groups are also spread out throughout the residences. The language of conversation should be English and the opportunity is provided for students to learn about other cultures and nationalities through residential life. In the second year, students can apply for a single room although this is not guaranteed and depends on availability. A ballot is held for all first year students towards the end of the first year and this determines the allocation of single, double and triple rooms as well as which house the student will live in for IB2. The College reserves the right to determine the allocation of rooms; the College also has the right to require students to move from one room to another and from one house to another. The College’s decision in this matter is final.
St. Clare’s offers places to students either as boarders or non-residential (day) students according to the conditions laid down separately in the offer letter. 

Accommodation during holidays
St. Clare’s does not provide accommodation for students during holidays. It is our expectation that students return home during the Christmas and Easter holidays, to spend time with their families. During the one-week half term holidays in October and February, students will also need to return home, or make an alternative arrangement for the week. ​​

Categories of students according to residential arrangements

  1. Boarding students. Most students live full-time at St. Clare’s and enjoy the benefits of living in a lively, vibrant community of young people. Weekends away are allowed; arrangements re curfews and absences from St. Clare’s are described in the College Regulations.
  2. Day students. The College may accept day students providing that they are living with at least one parent in Oxford. The parent must have a legal right to live in the UK on a permanent basis, i.e. not as a tourist, student or visitor. The parent must be responsible for their son or daughter and provide proper supervision.  The College does not allow students to live with a brother, a sister, other relation or a friend of the family. Though a student may apply for a place as a day student, the College may decide to offer a place as a residential student only. The College may decide to limit the number of day students in any year group and/or in total, to maintain the predominantly residential nature of St. Clare’s.
  3. Weekly boarders. The College has a small number of weekly boarders who return home to their families every weekend. There is no difference between weekly boarding fees and full boarding fees. Weekly boarders can stay in St. Clare’s at the weekend to take part in trips and activities. Students who live outside England and Wales cannot be weekly boarders.

If there is any doubt or dispute regarding the residential status of a student, the decision of the college is final. Changes to a student’s residential status are entirely at the discretion of the College.

Students are not allowed to rent accommodation in Oxford and live by themselves or with other students, as we believe that this is detrimental to a student’s education and the College is not able to exercise its proper pastoral function to care for the well-being of the individual. This applies to anyone enrolled as a student at the College regardless of whether they are over 18 or under 18.

Most recent review and/or amendments​​
VPP  July 2020