40 years of co-education at Hertford

The new portraits in Hall, photographed during our Women's Gaudy in January 2015

In 1974, Hertford was one of the first all-male Oxford colleges to accept women.

We celebrated the 40th anniversary throughout 2014 with a new portrait display in Hall and a variety of events.

Hertford College women: portrait display

Twenty-one portraits of Hertford women, photographed by Robert Taylor, were chosen after nominations were invited from staff, students and alumni. The women involved come from every generation of women since 1974 (including former undergraduate and graduate students, current and former fellows and honorary fellows) and represented the variety of occupations our alumni go into. The portraits will be on display throughout the academic year 2014/5.

The exhibition has attracted press coverage by the Telegraph, the GuardianBBC Oxford, and Cherwell.

Read more.


Hertford held a panel debate on 'Women in the Arts' on 19 June 2014, as part of a larger lecture series arranged between the university and colleges on pioneering women. Chaired by Hertford's English Tutor Emma Smith, the panel included Catherine Bennett (Observer columnist), Kerensa Jennings (Head of Strategic Delivery at the BBC), Robin Norton-Hale (theatre and opera director, winner of the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Opera) and Liz Forgan (Former Chair of Arts Council England and St Hugh's alumna).

The panel discussed a range of issues both specific to the arts and more general to women's experiences in the workplace. Themes that recurred were about women's confidence and self-belief, and about career/family balance. Catherine took up the discussion later in her Observer column.

There was also a Gaudy for the first mixed cohort of Hertford students (who matriculated in 1974, 1975 and 1976) on 19 September 2014, and a very popular all-womens Gaudy on 15 January 2015.


You can hear Dr Alison Woollard, Hertford's Dean and Fellow in Biochemistry, discuss our plans for the co-education celebrations in this video, from 2 minutes 41 seconds in.