Balliol marks centenary of women's formal admission to Oxford

Wednesday 14 October 2020

Oxford Women Suffrage flag flying on Balliol tower (photo: Nick Brown) showing figure of a woman with the words 'Oxford women' at the top and 'Suffrage' at the bottomThe year 2020 marks the centenary of women’s formal admission to Oxford University. On 14 October, the anniversary of the day when women were first awarded degrees at Oxford, Balliol flew the Oxford Women’s Suffrage flag.

Women were first granted full membership of the University on 7 October 1920 and then, one week later, were given the right to be awarded degrees. 

Oxford Women Suffrage flag showing figure of a woman with the words 'Oxford women' at the top and 'Suffrage' at the bottomTo mark the centenary, Oxford has launched a campaign that celebrates the multiple ways in which women have contributed to the University and in which women graduates have made a mark in the world, as well as commemorating those scholars and campaigners who provided the impetus for this change. Celebrations include a centenary video (below), a Women Making History website and a number of centenary events.

100 years since the first women were admitted to Oxford, the University has made progress towards equality of access for women as students:

  • In 2019, women comprised half of all undergraduate students for the first time
  • In the same year, the share of female first-year students (53%) entering the University slightly exceeded that of men for the first time
  • The share of women among graduate students increased to 45% in 2019, up from 44% the previous year

It has also made progress in other areas of gender equality.