What's in a name?

We've changed our name a few times in 140 years: 

  • 1878-1892: University of Oxford Standing Committee of the Delegacy of Local Examinations;

  • 1892-1924: University of Oxford Delegacy for the Extension of Teaching Beyond the Limits of the University;

  • 1924-1970: University of Oxford Delegacy of Extra-Mural Studies;

  • 1971-1990: University of Oxford Department for External Studies;

  • 1990-present: University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education

Although our name has changed, our overall mission has remained the same: we provide Oxford teaching to adult learners outside the traditional Oxford undergraduate community.

As the decades have passed, we have continuously refined and adapted our means of delivering education to suit the times - whether these consist of bringing adult education to isolated mining communities in North Staffordshire (as we did in the first half of the 20th century) or in the provision of vital training to medical professionals from developing nations.

Today's Department has over 15,000 adult, part-time students, coming from more than 160 countries world-side. Lifelong Learning is a time-honoured tradition at Oxford.