Welfare

The MCR, college, and wider Oxford community have a variety of resources to support your welfare and health during your time at Worcester College. For more information, also check the main college page.

MCR

The MCR has two elected Welfare Representatives at any given time, who are available for you. They also organise regular welfare events during term time, such as Welfare Tea, which everyone is warmly invited to attend.

College

There are several college staff who can assist you with various inquiries. You will be assigned a College Advisor, who along with the Tutor for Graduates are your academic touch points in the college. The college has a student welfare officer / disability coordinator who can be contacted at any time. The College Chaplain is available to all students irrespective of religion.

Medical

Worcester College has an NHS Nurse who comes to college several times a week, offering both drop-ins and scheduled visits. You will automatically receive email notifications of the nurse’s schedule each term. The nurse can be reached at worcnurse@nhs.net

The college is affiliated with the local NHS Practice 27 Beaumont Street, located just a few short steps from the main entrance. You will receive information about setting up a relationship with the doctor.

Accessibility

General Info

There are many support systems for disabled students at Oxford — but because Oxford is quite decentralized, you have to know where to look. Students with short or long-term disabilities should get in touch with the Disability Advisory Service, the Worcester Disability Coordinator, and your department’s disability contact before you arrive (see below). These offices and individuals can help students navigate their needs while studying at Oxford — including provisions for examinations, accommodation, access to university buildings, etc. 

Oxford as a city does have many historic buildings that are not accessible. However there are also many social venues, restaurants, cafés, bars, clubs and more that are accessible. If you would like to learn more, those of us with disabilities in the MCR would love to chat about life in Oxford. 

Contacts
The Worcester MCR is committed to helping individuals with disabilities to make the most of college life. The college has a dedicated Disability Coordinator (currently Jo Bates), and the MCR has a disabilities rep (if the position is vacant, incoming students can contact the welfare representatives). 

Incoming students with disabilities of any kind should get in touch with the Disability Advisory Service, who can offer support, guidance, and funding for student needs. Oxford also has a Oxford Students Disability Community which is a useful resource for incoming postgrads managing short or long-term disabilities. The OSDC Facebook group is a closed group for individuals to ask and answer questions about disability-related problems and issues that come up during your time at Oxford.

Most departments have a designated disability contact who is responsible for coordinating access for courses and students in that discipline. Your Disability Advisory Service (DAS) adviser can put you in touch with your department contact, or you can email the department to find out who to reach out to. If any problems arise with departmental access, ask for help either from your DAS adviser or the college Disability Coordinator. 


Accommodation

Incoming students with accommodation concerns related to disability should get in touch with the college Disability Coordinator and the Accommodation Office. The MCR Disabilities Rep can also answer accommodation queries and provide more detailed information about the suitability of different college accommodation options. For students in need of mobility assistance, the Franks Building is currently the only graduate accommodation with step-free access to the ground floor. 

Mobility in College

Accessible (step-free) areas in college include:

– Ground floor of the MCR
– Main quad and gardens (direct access to the south side of the quad and gardens is via stair lift)
– Chapel
– Hall
– Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre (events hub)


Non-accessible areas (with steps) include:

– Worcester Library
– College pub
– The interior of most main quad buildings

Library Access
The Worcester Library is unfortunately at the top of a cantilevered spiral staircase in a listed building. There are approximately 40 stairs to the lower library and 60 stairs in total to the upper library. The Worcester Law Library (on the north side of the quad), is also currently down a flight of 10 stairs.

Students who cannot access the library (either due to long-term disability or short-term injury), can have books delivered to their pidges or to the lodge. Students in need of this service can contact the college librarian, currently Mark Bainbridge.

The Worcester library has adjustable computer chairs in the upper library and the law library, and the library is planning to invest in a standing desk and other ergonomic equipment. The College Librarian can provide further information about this equipment and its availability.

The Bodleian Libraries (the main libraries of the University) have a dedicated Disability Librarian, Monica Kirkwood, who can be contacted with any questions. The Bodleian Libraries also have a webpage with information for disabled readers, including accessibility information for all the main library buildings. Many of the Bodleian libraries also have ergonomic equipment, adjustable-height desks, and other resources specifically intended for disabled readers. 

Inclusion

Worcester MCR has a vibrant Rainbow Family, where everyone independently of their sexual orientation, sex and gender is welcome and free to express their identity.

We understand that many of you come from different countries and backgrounds, some more or less inclusive than others. Please rest assured that at Oxford, in our experience, hearts and minds are open. If you have ever thought about coming out of the closet, for example, Oxford is a great place to do it, given the fantastic support networks and welcoming people around you!

The LGBTQ+ Society of Oxford University is very active, with multiple events on every week which are usually very well-attended. As your college LGBT+ Officers, we have a programme of events that will supplement what the university-wide society offers. We organise a lot of activities, including a series of International LGBTQ+ Movie Nights, LGBTQ+ Graduate Drinks, Pizza Nights, and inter-collegiate exchanges. We have a very broad network among different colleges!

This year we also started the tradition of organising mini-conferences where we invite speakers from the world of academia, charities and beyond, to take part in discussions about LGBTQ+ issues. The topic this year focused on “Queer Solidarity – Community, Minorities Role Models”.
We look forward to welcoming you to Worcester College, and to the Worcester Rainbow Family!

Faith Provisions

Worcester has an active chapel which welcomes all faiths (and none) for services of evensong and prayer on many days of the week. It’s vibrant colour, wood carvings of animals, and coy references to evolution from architect William Burges makes it unique among the university.

The chapel services are sung by the student choir and/or boys choir from the cathedral school. Students are invited to audition to join the choir at any time by reaching out to the director of chapel music. The director of chapel music also instructs the Worcester Allsorts choir which practices once per week. No prior experience is required to join the Allsorts – several MCR members have joined in past years.

You can find more information on the college chapel and services on their website. The college chaplain is Rev Dr. Tess Kuin Lawton.

Chapel runs several events throughout term time. These include:

  • a preaching series on Sunday evenings, followed by drinks in the cloisters before Formal Hall
  • the Woodroffe Society, a friendly weekly lunch club for discussion of moral, ethical and religious topics
  • the Woodroffe Dinner, a termly black-tie dinner featuring thinkers on pressing societal issues

College is open to all faith traditions, with special dining provisions for students observing Ramadan recently implemented. A number of other denominations and faiths have centres of worship and community life in Oxford. Worcester’s Chaplain can advise you on local faith groups or connect you with the university Roman Catholic Chaplaincy, the Greek Orthodox Chaplain, the Russian Orthodox Chaplain, the Jewish Chaplains, the Hindu Chaplain, and the Muslim Chaplain.

Financial Aid & Support

The college has small academic expenses grants for graduate students that can be used for research purposes, travel to conferences, or books & equipment. The college also has a hardship scheme you may apply to for sudden changes. The college staff are available to assist you confidentially with these or other financial matters, you will be informed of how to reach the Financial Aid Officer and/or Academic Administrator during orientation. For general scholarships, please consult the comprehensive university fees and funding page.

Associate Members

The MCR is a broad and inclusive community, and is not just limited to students reading post-graduate degrees from Worcester. Associate members can access the college and MCR facilities, attend all MCR social events, get student rates for meals in college, and can hold any position in the MCR except for President or Vice President. The following persons are warmly welcomed to apply to join the community as associate members:

  • spouses and long-term partners (typically co-habitees), or long term carers of MCR members;
  • undergraduates who are in their 4th year of studying at Worcester College;
  • previous JCR or MCR members who still have an academic connection to Oxford University or Oxford Brookes University or who are living and working in Oxford;
  • a limited number of post-doctoral researchers and doctoral students within the University of Oxford who have a departmental association with, and are recommended by a member of Worcester College’s SCR, such applicants cannot be considered if they already have an association with an Oxford college;
  • Graduate students not currently full members of the Worcester College MCR and employed by the Dean and Worcester College as the Assistant Dean or as a Junior Dean

Applicants should complete an application form online at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=G96VzPWXk0-0uv5ouFLPkbHVCfyb36ZPlY9vfZc6mNZUNU9TTDVBVUZPMzVIU0NLT1NUN0ZOM1YxOS4u

Applicants applying under category A or D will be required to provide the e-mail address of the College member with which they are associated who will be asked to confirm they are willing to sponsor your application and that they “know of no reason why [you] should not be granted associate membership”. The application will be passed to the MCR President and College Dean for approval. Applicants will receive an e-mail to the address provided informing them of the outcome of their application.

Payments should be made (via cash, cheque or card) at the Worcester College accounts office (first floor of the Besse building).

All associates (except those who are already students of the College under category B) must pay a £150 deposit. This will returned when your membership status lapses provided your College account is in good standing. Annual membership runs from the date of approval until the Sunday of -1 week of the following Michaelmas term. The charge for annual membership is currently £100 for those in Category A,C,D and E and £45 for those in category B. Payments cannot be reduced for a part year. The charge for termly membership is £40 per term. Membership runs from the date of approval until the Sunday of -1 week of the following term. Payments cannot be reduced for a part term.