Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press Number Of Pages: 384 Publication Date: 2008-10-24
For over six centuries, the University of Oxford had been an exclusively male bastion of privilege and opportunity. Few dreamed this could change. Yet, in 1879, twenty-one pioneering women quietly entered two recently established residence halls in Oxford in the hope of attending lectures and pursuing a course of study. More women soon followed and, by 1893, there were five women's societies, each with its own principal, staff, and identity. Only eighty years after women first appeared in Oxford, the five residential societies were granted full status as colleges of the University-self-governing entities with all the rights and obligations of the men's colleges-and women students constituted 16 percent of the undergraduate population. Though still a distinct minority, women had gained full access to the rich resources, opportunities, and challenges of the University.
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