The College has always considered the families of our current undergraduates as valued friends and partners of the St Anne’s community. We recognise, however, that the primary relationship is always between the College and our students.

Parents/carers are welcomed into the College from day one, and we host a number of events for students, parents/carers and families:


  • In October, parents of first year students are invited to a talk with the Principal, followed by refreshments.
  • In November, students can bring their parents/families to a Formal Hall at St Anne’s. The 2017 date is Friday 17 November.
  • In December, we host a buffet brunch with musical accompaniment for all parents. The 2017 date is Saturday 2 December.
  • In June, all students and their families are invited to a Garden Party in the quad hosted by the Principal and Fellows. The 2018 date is Saturday 16 June.

The University of Oxford provide information for parents online.

Responses to a number of frequently asked questions are included below. We also have a number of partner parents who have seen their children through Oxbridge, and are willing to answer queries not included here. Please email with your query and it will be passed on to them.

1. Where can I find the Oxford term dates? And what is the process for collecting my son/daughter?

Dates of term are available at:

Several weeks before the end of term, your son/daughter will be allocated a time slot as to when you can collect them from College on the date that they are due to leave. You should aim to arrive at St Anne’s as close to this time as possible and you will then be able to load the car, parking on site. If you are attending an event, you may need to move your car elsewhere first, for example, to one of the Park and Ride facilities. There is limited free 2-hour parking on roads close to St Anne’s including Bevington Road and Bradmore Road.

2. Where can I find an Oxford glossary?

Some of the new words and phrases can be mysterious and confusing for new parents/carers. If you have heard mention of Collections, Eights, or Encaenia, and you are unsure what they mean, the University has produced a glossary of common terms which is available on their website.



3. I’m concerned about my son/daughter or my son/daughter is unwell and I’d like to know about what support is available?

Though unable to discuss your son/daughter with you, where appropriate, the Academic Office will act on any information they receive. You can contact +44 (0) 1865 274800.

Full details about welfare support available: 

Noticeboards all around College and in student accommodation have more welfare information, including details of JCR Peer Supporters.

Support and advice for parents

The Counselling Service may be contacted by parents who are aware that their child is struggling at university for whatever reason, and are unsure how best to help them.

The pressures of work, living away from home and relationships can mean that students require some support from a neutral adult. It can be especially worrying for parents/carers when your child is not very communicative about their difficulties and / or appear resistant to getting help. However, be assured that many students have some difficulties, especially in their first year and this is an important part of growing up. Please be assured that most of these difficulties can be dealt with by a qualified and experienced adult over time.

How to help and support

Developmentally, university represents an important transition between childhood and adulthood with young people expected, and expecting, to take far more responsibility for all aspects of their lives. Some embrace this challenge, others find it hard. The University of Oxford offers a strong support network which includes tutors, college welfare teams, peer supporters, chaplains, college nurses, doctors and the Counselling Service.

If your child is having a particularly hard time the most natural thing to do is to encourage them to come home where you can look after them, but we suggest you think carefully about when it is really in their interest to return home. In the face of problems, the desire to regress can be very powerful.

Being able to phone or go home can be a really important way of gaining some perspective or simply taking some time out. But, developmentally, one of the most important ways in which you can support your child is to encourage them to remain at the University and to make use of the help available to them here.  This will promote resilience and support   growth into independent adults. 

You may be able to help by reminding them of the support available and helping them to see getting help as a positive step. But be careful not to push too hard. Counselling (or other help) will be more effective if the student has chosen it for themselves.

Student confidentiality


If you have concerns, you may wish to alert a member of the welfare team in your child’s college. The person with whom you speak is unlikely to be able to give you any specific information because University staff are bound by a code of confidentiality which means that under all normal circumstances no information given in confidence can be divulged to a third party - even a parent - without the student’s express permission. Nevertheless, getting in touch may provide an opportunity for you to talk through your concerns and gain more information about the support available.

Sometimes parents contact the Counselling Service to ask if their son or daughter has requested help. The Counselling Service needs to respect students’ confidentiality and would not be able to provide this information without their express permission. If a student is receiving counselling for emotional problems they have not disclosed to their parents, the Service will explore with them the reasons for this and encourage them to consider whether this is the right decision for them in their particular circumstances. Equally, if you know that your child is attending counselling and you have information that you feel we should have, you should be aware that it is only possible for us to use this kind of information as part of the counselling process if the student is aware that a conversation has taken place between the service and you.

4. What are the costs and what is available when living in Oxford and at St Anne’s?

All of our undergraduate study-bedrooms are single occupancy, and vary from characterful Victorian to bright and contemporary. Students live with others from their year group, with rooms allocated by a ballot each year. All accommodation includes kitchens, which are shared by approximately 9 students, and almost half of our rooms are en-suite. These rooms are usually allocated to our third-years. Students on four year courses (except Linguists) usually live out for one year in College-rented houses or subsidised private rentals. We also have rooms specially built for disabled access.  Some students decide to share a house with friends in rented accommodation, normally during the later years of their course. This can be a good option if they want to live with friends from another college. It does tend to be more expensive as houses are normally rented for a year; during the vacation periods as well as term time. However, it means that your child would have somewhere to stay if they wanted to study out of term time or take a holiday job in Oxford.

2017/18 Accommodation & Insurance Costs

The annual rent for standard undergraduate college accommodation is £4,026 (including utilities). This standard charge covers the eight weeks and two days of full term. Any residence outside these times is charged at a daily rate, unless residence is necessary for University exams. There are grants available to help with the cost of vacation residence; details are supplied on the vacation residence application forms and financial help application forms that are distributed each term by the accommodation office.

At mealtimes most students choose to use the Dining Hall, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch at weekends. The quality of food at St Anne’s is recognised as excellent. 

Communal dining provides an excellent opportunity to meet students from different courses and year groups.  Most meals are self-service and informal, costing approximately £3.00 for breakfast or £5.00 for Lunch or Dinner. At the start of each term, your University card is topped up with £125, which can then be used to buy food in hall and at STACS (the St Anne's Coffee Shop). We also hold around 5 optional formal dinners in Hall per term, which cost £11.50 for a three course meal.  View the weekly menu at:

5. How is academic progress monitored and feedback given?

Assessment will vary by subject but all students will understand how they are progressing because of the quality and regularity of contact with tutors and subject specialists. Personalised learning is a central and unique aspect of the Oxford experience.

Students will have frequent deadlines for work to be submitted and after each vacation there may  be ‘Collections’ which are college examinations. These are followed by a confidential summary of the individual student’s progress.

Student confidentiality means that the College is not able to respond to any requests from parents who wish to know how their son/daughter is doing. It is up to the student whether they chose to share this information with you.

6. What are the academic study expectations during vacations?

St Anne’s students are required to work hard in term-time. Holidays are an important time to relax and rest. However, Oxbridge is unique in having 8 week terms and independent study and research is a key aspect of learning at Oxford. Therefore, significant blocks of time need to be allocated during each holiday for reading, set work and consolidation/revision for Collections at the start of term.

A commitment to learning at home will require support and understanding from families.

St Anne’s is increasingly committed to developing pathways for employment post-Oxford from the outset. Information about work experience, internships and exposure to the world of work are encouraged in the vacations. However, this is not at the expense of academic commitments. 

7. What does St Anne’s do to promote welfare and well-being?

Our Principal, Helen King, with the whole St Anne’s community, has student well-being at the heart of her vision for St Anne’s (Be Well, Do Well). All students are encouraged to be proactive about their own and others well-being by ensuring they stay healthy, physically, mentally and socially. The pressures of academic success can be enormous but by taking a more holistic approach to study students can be well and do well. To this end, the new library has a roof garden where students can take breaks in the fresh air and relax.

Please talk to your son/daughter about joining a club or activity – there are so many opportunities at Oxford to develop life-time hobbies and meet new friends. 

8. How can I be more involved with the St Anne’s community?

We have a number of events open to parents each year, and when your son/daughter joins the College, you will have the opportunity to opt in to communications including our email newsletter sent out four to five times each year. You can also follow St Anne’s on our social media channels. We send to students’ parents the full range of publications that our alumnæ and friends receive, and we encourage all who feel able to make a contribution to help the College continue its work.

For further information please contact us at