Talk:List of University of Oxford people

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What's happening with this page!?[edit]

When I try to access List of University of Oxford people the page ends very prematurely like this:

  • [[[Randall Thomas Davidson]] (Trinity)

<a href="/wiki/John_

When I try List of Oxford University people it works fine. What's happening and will it get sorted out?--Oxonian2006 12:47, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


Why not list all the colleges with which a person has been associated as a member of the Junior, Middle (=Graduate etc), or Senior Common Room? Hence Paul S. Fiddes would appear with St Peter's and Regent's Park, and Anthony Kenny with St Benet's Hall, Balliol, and St John's, obviosuly using common sense to leave out minor appointments (e.g. Lecturer) somebody (such as Kenny) may have held at other colleges.

To clarify, a Fellow (or Student of Christ Church) is not really a graduate student, except in the sense that he/she is a graduate and also a student in the broadest possible sense of the term (i.e. one who studies). Further, one is, unless some rare and drastic action is taken, a member of both college (or PPH) and university for life. One does not even need to be a matriculated member of the university to be an official member of a college, e.g. JYA students, who do not matriculate but are often entitled to sign the college register. The fact that somebody did not take a degree does not make them any less Oxonian. Nobody was more of an Oxonian than John Betjeman, who failed his Pass degree (not Divvers as commonly thought), and did not graduate until several decades later when he supplicated for an honorary DLitt. --Oxonian2006 13:16, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

College Links[edit]

Can we provide links to the various colleges? -- Zoe

Do you mean internal links to their articles or external links to their official webpages or both? Whichever way, I think that's a great idea. Please go ahead -- they're all in the University of Oxford article, so you can open it for editing and copy them from there. (Having had the pleasure of gathering them all onto that page, I leave the fun of copying them here to someone else.) -- isis 07:33 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)

I was hoping somebody who actually knows the colleges and what their Wikipedia names are could handle that. :-) -- Zoe

How about we find someone who wants to run their edit-count up and let them do it one link at a time? -- isis 07:52 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)

Student or Don? - or both![edit]

Are the colleges in brackets only supposed to be those where they were students? I saw that some people were listed with more than one college, and clicked on one at random - Barbara Levick. Her article says that she was a student at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, but a Fellow at St. Hilda's College, Oxford. So should we (a) remove names of colleges where people weren't students, or (b) rename the page to something more general, like List of notable Oxonians or the like? I'll leave it up to you. Oh, and I'll help with the linking when I have a bit more spare time (after my exams...) -- Oliver PEREIRA 08:06 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)

I'd rather it be only where they were students, but I'm not absolutely sure a "fellow" isn't a graduate student of sorts (in the U.S., fellows are people on fellowships, and they ARE students), but I'd just as soon take it out, because this is only a list, and once you go to her link you get the other info anyhow. (I do question whether she's all that "notable", however, since I've never heard of her, but that's a different issue.) But the main purpose of the list is for people who are strongly associated with Oxford in history but weren't students there all that long (or seriously), like Lord Alfred Douglas, and if you try changing the name of the list, you'll run into the same problem with having Richard Burton on it that made Deb take it out of the Oxford University article, altho she did not take the corresponding list out of the Cambridge University article. -- isis 08:35 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)
I know that at Cambridge, once you've matriculated, you are a member of the university for life, even if you drop out. I don't know if that's the same for Oxford, but I would have thought so, and so people who dropped out would probably still be "Oxonians". But I agree, it keeps things simpler to just restrict it to students. By the way, in UK universities, a Fellow is a member of the academic staff, so they wouldn't be students. -- Oliver PEREIRA 09:05 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)
In the U.S. (at least back when I was in grad school), most fellowships required either research or teaching (and carried a salary or "stipend" for it), and teaching fellows were academic staff (but perhaps not faculty), but then much/most teaching of undergraduates was done by graduate students instead of professors. I think you're right that in the U.K. fellows are faculty who hold appointments rather like a "chair" (or professorship) in the U.S., which is for a professor instead of a grad student, so we should probably stay clear of the issue for this list. -- isis 08:26 Jan 29, 2003 (UTC)

Scott Shaw[edit]

Recently added to "Novelists, Poets and Playwrights". Any source for this? No mention of any Oxford connection either on Wikipedia (Scott Shaw), or on his website. Flapdragon 14:30, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Have removed entry. --Simon D M (talk) 16:05, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Scott Shaw's article on Wikipedia, Scott Shaw, does mention that he undertook postgraduate studies in geography at Oxford, citing this external biography. This page also mentions Oxford: Experience Festival. It doesn't seem to prove anything that this connection isn't mentioned on his own website since that site doesn't mention any of his education beyond high school. What I can't find any mention of is the claim that he is a member of Univ.--Oxonian2006 (talk) 11:32, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
If you scroll to the bottom of both pages, you'll see that they are just mirrors of the Wikipedia article about Shaw and so not actual valid sources at all. BencherliteTalk 11:53, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the technical meaning is of a mirror. I thought a mirror was an exact duplicate of a page provided by another means, whereas the ebay page, at least, claims only to be based on Wikipedia, and is clearly not a precise replica of it.
So where did the idea come from that he has any connection with Oxford? Do you think the information is inaccurate or merely not backed up by evidence? Has somebody created that huge list of universities he attended just as a joke?
I don't see that his inclusion or otherwise makes much difference, so best to leave him out for the time being.--Oxonian2006 (talk) 19:33, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Maybe "mirror" wasn't the right technical term (Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks isn't entirely clear), and I didn't investigate the similarities / differences between "our" article and "theirs" once I saw that "their" articles were based on "ours" and so had no independent reliability. Any differences may be because they copied an older version of the page, for example. I don't know whether the list of universities is a joke or not; it could be, for example, that he spent part of his course over here rather than a full degree. I agree with leaving it out for now. BencherliteTalk 20:07, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
To justify my actions, note that I didn't hesitate to remove Simon Pegg. I thought that Scott Shaw had a genuine and documented connection with the university.--Oxonian2006 (talk) 20:28, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
You don't have to justify anything to me, Oxonian2006 - I know you're on the side of the angels! BencherliteTalk 22:19, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Christian Baileys[edit]

Can any one provide me with information about Christian Baileys (Lincoln Group) time at Oxford, when he was there, when he graduated, contacts that might be willing to speak about him? Email me at The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) , at 04:15, 14 December 2005.


Pages like this are a magnet for jokers or vanity edits, and of the various red links some look non-notable to me. Can I suggest that if you must add a red link you should add a very brief summary of why the person is notable? But far better is to create at least a a stub article for the link to go to. Flapdragon 15:21, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Geoffrey of Monmouth[edit]

Any room for 12th century alumni? 05:23, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Oxford People Stubs[edit]

Stubs with rudimentary biographical detail on Oxford notables are unnecessary when they can be incorporated into this list more succinctly. Netkinetic/T/C/@ 06:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC)tyrese is going here

Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia[edit]

Busia was the Prime Minister of Ghana from 1969-1972. He obtained a BA (Hons) at Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy & Economics; MA. Ph.D.Social Anthropology. Please amend your list of notable Oxonians to reflect this fact. Busia was the Prime Minister at the time that Edward Akuffo Addo was the ceremonial President of Ghana. 14:28, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Replacement of italics with small[edit]

Writing as the person who started the practice of adding notable details about people on this list in italics, I am suggesting that these are replaced with small text. This can be done by replacing '' at the beginning and end of the text with <small> at the beginning and </small> at the end. This looks neater and it will allow us to get more information onto each line without the danger of breaking onto the next line.--Oxonian2006 20:46, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Sortable list[edit]

I have made a start. I don't see why this list can't be as good as List of Dartmouth College alumni (a Featured List) with a lot of work. All help welcome! Bencherlite 22:03, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Very long[edit]

Oxford University is a great University and many notable individuals have studied or worked on the faculty of Oxford. I think this list should be divided into several lists. This list is very long. RS2007 04:37, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree, it needs to be broken down into sub-sections on separate pages. It is currently the third longest page on Wikipedia and will only get longer as more table formatting and, more importantly, references are added. The current table of contents is this (top levels of headings only):
   * 1 Government
   * 2 The Law
   * 3 Religions
   * 4 Literature
   * 5 Media
   * 6 The Arts
   * 7 Historians
   * 8 Classicists, Byzantinists, Archaeologists
   * 9 Modern Languages
   * 10 Philosophers
   * 11 Economists
   * 12 Geography
   * 13 Anthropology and ethnography
   * 14 Sociology
   * 15 Politics, political philosophy, and international relations
   * 16 Asian studies
   * 17 Mathematicians and statisticians
   * 18 Scientists
   * 19 Educationalists
   * 20 Sports people
   * 21 Business people
   * 22 Explorers and adventurers
   * 23 Chefs and wine experts
   * 24 Miscellany
   * 25 Fictional Oxonians
Nos 1 to 6 would work on their own with their current titles (e.g. List of University of Oxford people/Government. 7 and 8 could be combined. 17 and 18 could be combined. 10, 11 and 15 (16 too?) could be combined in a "PPE" section. The rest are generally smaller sections and could probably for now just be put together in List of University of Oxford people/Others. The main page would then consist of the introductory section, then links to each sub-list with some explanatory text about what each contains. Thoughts? BencherliteTalk 10:31, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I have long been thinking about raising this issue myself. Obviously this page is too long as it is. Here are my thoughts:
  • First, we don't want to lose any names from the list. Gathering together all these names in one place has been a big project and is one that should continue. Whatever solution is decided upon it should not involve cutting down the list.
  • Secondly, it needs to be easy for people to navigate the separate lists, which is the most likely solution that will be reached. I suggest having one page called "List of University of Oxford people" which will consist of a short list of links to a number of shorter lists. An alternative would be to have a "See also" list of links to the other shorter lists on each shorter list page. This would have the disadvantage that there would be no central hub.
  • Thirdly, I don't think a PPE page would be a good idea. It would be open to misunderstanding. It could suggest that the people on that page had read PPE. PPE is an undergraduate course rather than a field of endeavour in the real world. Philosophers, economists, and people working in academic politics, political philosophy, and IR do not actually have all that much in common. Most philosophers probably have more in common with mathematicians, linguists, theologians, and classicists. If there were an argument for having a PPE page then it could equally be argued that there should be a "Psychology, Philosophy, and Physiology" page.
  • Fourthly, I don't think we want too many pages. Even cutting the current page in half would be a big improvement. How would the following be for a set of shorter list pages:
    • University of Oxford people in public life, to include Government, everbody in The Law except for legal academics, and everybody in Religions except for theologians.
    • University of Oxford people in creative fields, to include Literature (except for people in the critics, librarians, diarists, etc sub-category who are known best as university-based academics), Media, and The Arts.
    • University of Oxford people in academic disciplines, to inlcude legal academics, theologians, university-based literary scholars, and sections 7-18.  Done BencherliteTalk 21:23, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • University of Oxford people in education  Done BencherliteTalk 21:23, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • University of Oxford people in business  Done BencherliteTalk 21:23, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • University of Oxford people in sport, exploration, and adventuring  Done BencherliteTalk 21:23, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • University of Oxford people in food and drink
    • Fictional University of Oxford people  Done BencherliteTalk 21:23, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Fifthly, I would see if we could somehow get rid of the Miscellany section. I don't mean get rid of the people, but find a way of including them elsewhere.

--Oxonian2006 20:18, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

1 - I entirely agree, and wasn't suggesting otherwise. In fact, the issue of whether to include e.g. Imran Khan once or twice could also be revisited - the element of duplication is lessened if the entries are on two pages, rather than twice on the same page.
2 - I entirely agree, and wasn't suggesting otherwise.
3 - I meant a title like "Philosophy, political studies and economics", rather than "PPE", but I take your point. I was looking for ways of grouping academic disciplines together, short of putting them all on one page (which might get over-long itself, but we'll see on that front!).
4 - I like your groupings, except for two suggestions:
(a) I think "public life" is too big - the government section alone is already 186kb long (out of a current page length of 331kb) and the other two combine at about 70kb, without full table formatting, so you'd be looking at a sub-page of around 250kb before the further tables, information and references are added. The same issue about page length would come up again. I'd suggest three pages: University of Oxford people in public life (or perhaps in politics and public service, or something like that), University of Oxford people in the law and University of Oxford people in religion and theology.
(b) At the other end of the scale, a list for a handful of people in food and drink seems overkill! How about including them in creative fields? Some of those listed are known as cookery writers /broadcasters anyway rather than as restaurant-based chefs, e.g the lovely Nigella.
5 I agree - possibly an "other people in public life" section in the main "public life" page?
Before we start moving names across, I'll just check that there isn't a GFDL issue in doing so. I assume not, as the main page isn't being deleted and that will have the history of contributions, but better safe than sorry... BencherliteTalk 21:07, 16 August 2007 (UTC) update: Wikipedia:Summary style says how it's to be done, and it doesn't seem too difficult. BencherliteTalk 21:32, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I've done the first: List of University of Oxford people in education. More later, perhaps. BencherliteTalk 11:32, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
More done (as indicated above)
Those changes have removed 41k, leaving about 298k. "Academic disciplines" is about 31k and will probably get too large for ease of use when properly referenced and formatted. I repeat my point about lumping together all of government and the law together: it would just transfer the length problem to a new page, not solve the problem. I would welcome comments. BencherliteTalk 21:23, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

List of scientists?[edit]

How come I don't see any scientists/inventors alumni? Tarikur (talk) 23:52, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

How about List of University of Oxford people in academic disciplines#Scientists? BencherliteTalk 08:49, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Oxonian Frederick Metcalfe? His books "The Oxonian in..." seem to qualify him[edit]

For more information, Google "The Oxonian in" for a list of his books from Open Library, Google, etc. to determine his eligibility as an Oxford alumnus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Webistrator (talkcontribs) 01:06, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:List of University of Oxford people/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Tagged as being of high importance (the sheer number of notable people who've studied at Oxford is a major part of why it is itself notable). I gave the page class B as it's never likely to fit the bill as a WP:GA/WP:FA, but I can't really see how it would be improved significantly other than by adding more people to the list! Casper Gutman 15:28, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 15:28, 25 March 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 22:11, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Humanists/ Religious skeptics[edit]

At the risk of making this page any longer, there is nowhere for Andrew Copson, the prominent humanist. Religion hardly fits the bill, and as 50.6% of the population regarded themselves as belonging to no religion [1] it seems odd to me that there is no section for Humanists. Another suggestion might be religious skeptics, plenty of skeptics are Oxon: Balliol alone had Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Mramoeba (talk) 23:38, 21 November 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ "The British Social Attitudes Survey". Retrieved 21 November 2016.

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