Our History and Philosophy

Warnborough College - A Brief History

History and philosophy of Warnborough College

Warnborough College was founded in Oxford in 1973. It was originally founded for visiting American students keen to experience the Oxford Socratic method of learning. The College soon acquired an increasing number of international students who came to study English and take courses for university entrance.

The College was fortunate to have plenty of support. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sent her warmest wishes for a successful future. Sir Christopher White, Bt., the Lord Mayor of Oxford, and other dignitaries spoke at the inaugural reception held at Rhodes House (Oxford) of the enthusiasm that the college had received in Oxford and America.

From its beginning, sponsorship was obtained from many American educators including the Presidents of Duke University, the Catholic University of America, Hampshire College, Bradford College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges; the Chancellors of North Carolina State University and the Claremont Colleges; the Bishops of the Dioceses of South Carolina, California and Western Massachusetts; and the President of the National Council of Churches of America.

The College moved into its campus at Boars Hill in 1976. The campus was the former home of the Bishop of Oxford and the celebrated scholar, Gilbert Murray.

1980 – 1994

During the 1980s and 1990s, Warnborough expanded its facilities and programmes to cater for an increase in international students from all over the world. The College received students from UNESCO scholarship programmes, government schemes, and diplomatic exchanges. Our International Summer Schools (ISS) were launched and proved to be very popular. The schools were run at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and London and appealed to people who wanted more than just a summer vacation.

In 1985, we launched a study abroad programme in Australia, and students chose to do a semester in England and a semester Down Under.

In 1987, the Archbishop of Canterbury authorised the appointment of an Honorary Chaplain to Warnborough. The Rev’d Canon Dr Richard Martin, our Chaplain, was also responsible for the Australian Study Abroad programme.

Our historic campus at Boars Hill had reached its capacity by the early 1990s. It was sold in 1992 and then leased back until the college relocated to London in 1996.

1995 – Present

In 1995, the College was accredited by the University of Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations as an accredited centre for their Business English, Travel and Tourism examinations and certificates. At that time, the college made the decision to embrace the new internet technology and offer some courses by Distance Learning. It was the start of a new era, using email to engender communication between students and faculty.

Our sister college was established in the Republic of Ireland in 1997 to offer graduate degrees by distance learning.

We made the famous cathedral and university city of Canterbury our home in 2001. Like Oxford, Canterbury is steeped in history, being the first place in England where education was formalised. The College offers a range of courses in Canterbury including study abroad, English language courses, university access courses, and vocational courses by distance learning. Canterbury is our headquarters – arranging and developing programmes which are run around the world.

Warnborough College is externally accredited by various organisations and holds membership in professional associations.

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy

Warnborough prizes its independence and its international, multi-cultural and multi-racial student body and faculty. Warnborough believes in forging links between academic disciplines, between the world of learning and the world of work, and between nations, so many of which are represented by its culturally-heterogeneous student body. It is on the basis of these principles and values that Warnborough provides its special education.

Such an education includes:

  • A commitment to academic freedom
  • A disciplined exploration of ideas
  • Rational discourse, clear thinking, and articulate self-expression
  • A tolerance of, and an appreciation for intellectual and cultural differences in a spirit of global awareness and responsibility
  • Fostering international understanding through mutual co-operation among all students

These are the main goals that we should like to see our students achieving.

Warnborough assures equal opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status, in the admission to and participation in its programmes and activities.

Comments 2

  1. I went abroad for the fall semester in 1984.
    To this day, the socratic method of learning has been the best learning experience concerning my education.

    Matthew Giggey

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