Caught a rather disturbing article in the Times last week which attracted a fair amount of comment.

This was the story that the University of Oxford was contemplating withdrawing ‘private hall’ status from certain Oxford theological colleges on the basis that what they teach is deemed ‘illiberal.’  This means basically colleges whose teaching is deemed as ‘illiberal’, will lose their hard won University status.

This seems to me to be a worrying story.  Where will they draw the line on what is considered ‘illiberal’?  Would teaching the physical resurrection of Jesus fall foul of this strange criterion?  What about the teaching of medical or social ethics?  Were the same criterion applied across other disciplines, this would create a time bomb waiting to go off! 

The same week the Times also carried  another article regarding the so-called Russell Group of universities (the group that regards themselves as the ‘top’ universities and includes Oxford).  This made the point that these institutions do not award enough places to state school applicants, where candidates from both state and independent schools are of comparable ability.

If the move to punish what is judged ‘illiberal’ is driven by the inclusion and diversity agenda, then maybe the University of Oxford should think again.  The motto of Oxford is ‘Dominus illuminatio mea’ (the Lord is my light – Psalm 27).   Funny thing that!