A right-leaning think tank has described Oxford as the second-most “radical progressive” university in the UK, following Cambridge.
However, a Cherwell poll of around 200 students suggests that Oxford students disagree with this – 42% of respondents voted that the students in Oxford are not progressive enough and 51% voted that the teaching staff are not progressive enough.
The college voted most ‘woke’ by a large majority was Wadham, receiving 33 votes out of 50.
Civitas, a think tank described as right-wing by the Guardian, published their Radical Progressive University Guide as part of a series on new academic realism. According to their findings, the “best and most prestigious” universities tend to be the most progressive, exemplified by Cambridge and Oxford who, respectively, topped the rankings.
Their results are based on universities’ endorsement of “trigger warnings, white privilege, and anti-racism” along with other factors, such as free speech controversies. Universities which have definitions of ‘white privilege’ on their website, or conduct anti-racism training are considered to be more radically progressive.
Civitas allege that this newfound ‘hyper-morality’ stems from the “mutation and splicing of past radicalism that include Marxism, postmodernism, feminism, Freudianism, and Maoism”.
However, Oxford students are seemingly not in agreement with these findings. According to a Cherwell study, only 18% of respondents believed that Oxford students are too progressive. 40% voted that the students were “just the right amount” of progressive, and 42% voted that they are not progressive enough.
The results for teaching staff are similar, yet more pronounced – only 12% thought that teaching staff was too progressive. 37% considered them to be the right amount of progressive and 51% of respondents voted that Oxford teaching staff are not progressive enough.
When asked for thoughts, one student said that Oxford is “probably too woke in the sense of language policing / perspective exclusion but not woke enough in terms of keeping out and holding accountable people who do actual harm”.
Another said: “New [C]ollege isn’t accessible enough to have problems relating to class or race”.