Q: What is a PPH?
A: The short answer would be: ‘no different from a college’. PPHs (Permanent Private Halls), of which Regent’s is one, are governed slightly differently from other colleges. In terms of your college experience though, this means very little. Though Wikipedia might have given you the impression that Regent’s and its ilk were religious institutions, college life here is just as secular as elsewhere, and people of all faiths or none are fully welcome here. Similarly, the different governance of the college in no way means that you’ll be getting a different degree to that given by other colleges.
Q: Will I still get the ‘Oxford experience’?
A: The fact that Regent’s is small and is a PPH might have given you the impression that you’ll be missing out on experiencing wider university life. Many people have this thought when coming here, but they’ll soon find out that the opposite is the case. People from Regent’s have been involved at some of the highest levels of university sporting and societal life, including receiving a blue (i.e. participating in a varsity sports match against Cambridge), being the president of African and Caribbean Society (ACS) or playing a key role in the running of the Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS). Neither does being at a PPH limit your Oxford experience in the sense that you’re free to use most other university libraries and depending on your subject, might frequently be travelling outside of college to be taught elsewhere in later terms.
Q: What about opportunities at college?
A: Even at Regent’s itself; there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in all areas of college life. For sports there is the college football team, the rowing teams and the netball team. Other ways to get involved could be taking part in the college Christmas panto and the summer play, or joining the college’s Christian Union. Also well worth considering, are official JCR (Junior Common Room – the undergrad body of students which you’ll be joining this autumn) positions, which can vary from Arts rep to Tortoise Keeper. Additionally, one can run for a position on the JCR exec, which is an elected group who represent the undergraduate body to the college, run JCR meetings, and keep the body financially and administratively ticking over. Whatever suits your fancy, Regent’s can offer it, and moreover, offer a rewarding experience – in such a small college, you can really feel that you’re making an important contribution.