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Oxford University Archives


A history of Congregation and Convocation


7. The 2000 reforms

The recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry of 1997-8 (the North Commission) made no changes to the powers of Convocation but significant changes to its membership. From 2002, when the new statutes came into force, Convocation was to consist of all former student members of the University who had been admitted to a degree (other than an honorary degree) of the University, and of any other persons who were, or had been at retirement, members of Congregation. Prior to this date, the holders of other degrees of the University (as listed in the Statutes) could only become members of Convocation after the expiration of 21 terms from their matriculation. The 2002 statute widened the remit of membership to include the holders of all degrees of the University effective immediately on graduation and it included, for the first time, the holders of BA degrees.

It also made further amendment to the position of Congregation and Hebdomadal Council. As a result of the proposals of the Joint Working Party on Governance, which came into effect on 1 October 2000, Hebdomadal Council and the General Board of the Faculties were replaced by a single governing Council (operating through four committees). It was to be responsible to Congregation for the academic policy and strategic direction of the University, including external and college relations. The membership of Congregation was widened: it was no longer necessary to possess a University degree of MA or above (or MA status), nor to hold an 'established' post. There were also simplified procedures for raising and debating issues in Congregation.

Oxford University Archives 2004

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