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Permanent Private Halls?

What's the deal with these? Some of them do undergraduate courses. Would one be at an advantage in getting into Oxford, if one applied to one of these?
Are there any students out there who go to a PPH. What are the disadvantages of going to a PPH over going to a conventional college?

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Reply 1
probs is an adv as fewer people apply but they don't do a lot of subjects and are much more religious (i think)
Reply 2
Most do the subject I want to do. Philth (Phil/Theo) but I'm not a Christian.
Reply 3

I got into St Benets this year and its great. The interview was very friendly and comfortable, it has a small community and a lovely feel to it. It is however, all-male but teams up with other colleges for bops etc. There are a few resident monks etc but it has a number of lay undergraduates (me being one of them).

Applying to one is definitely worth it. After my interview I knew that a PPH was for me and from what I gathered, you will still gain a full, and I think more interesting, 'Oxford Experience'.

If you have any questions please ask.
Reply 4
Dear Postscript what subject did you get in for? what are the application stats like? What are the typical offers given to applicants? St. Benets sounds cool. Do you know who the admissions tutor is for Philth; so I can email him/her? Ta
Reply 5
PPHs claim to be just as competitive as colleges, but it is a fact that less people apply and so in that respect competition is limited - its the small number of places that make it difficult. However the competition is not palpable like it is in colleges - I was also interviewed in Magdalen.

St Benets may look very religious, but they just respect that way of life, not enforce it. I would seriously consider it if your interested?

Below are a few of the tutors that may apply to your course.

Dr Joe Shaw MA, DPhil (Director of Studies and Tutor in Philosophy) (2000)

Dr Brian Klug, MA, PhD (Senior Research Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy) (2001)

Fr Bernard Green OSB, MA, DPhil (Director of Studies and Tutor in Theology) (2004)

Is there anything else I can help you with?
Reply 6
What subject are you doing Postscript?
Thanks for the names
what do the dates mean?
Sorry this may be asking a lot, but do you have the emails for them. If yes pm me pls.
Thanks again
Reply 7
The dates are when they joined the PPH I think.
Reply 8
[email protected]

Contact this address for any questions you may have.
Hallo Epicurus,

I've got a confirmed place at Greyfriars, which is a PPH. I actually applied to Balliol, but was interviewed at Gf as it has strong ties with them (as many of the PPHs do).

Initialy I was a bit nonplussed, as I didn't even know what a PPH was, but after having gone up for an excelent three days' drinking (there may have been an interview in there somewhere, I forget now) I realised that it was a lovely little place.

PPHs are much smaller than colleges, Gf having around 60 undergrads. So they offer a very close-knit community, but of course are not like 500-people Colleges.

Not to say that they don't get stuck in - Gf has a blues Rugger player, the to-be president of the Law Society, a sub-ed and ed of the OxStu, etc.

There is also a religious aspect. Gf is owned by Fransican friars, so they form some of the staff and turn up at meals etc. I'm not religious myself, but I got the impression that that really doesn't count.

Hope that helped. I'll be up on the first of October, so feel free to message me after that if you want a report from our man in the trenches :wink:


Reply 10
What subject are you studying Sweeney?
English Lit, just like all the cool kids
Hey sweeney,

Its nice to find another English student at a PPH - I was beginning to feel rather anomolous
Reply 13
Out of curiousity, do admission tutors at PPHs discriminate against people who aren't Christian/Catholic?
Reply 14
I wouldn't apply to a PPH on the basis that 'it'll be easier to get into Oxford'. I have a friend who was at Regent's Park, and she loved it - then again she is a strong Christian. If you're thinking of applying to a PPH alone, then I'd say think twice about what you want out of university. The PPHs have lots of merits, but the experience will be different.
Reply 15
different how? Why shouldn't I apply to a PPH on the basis that it will be easier to get into?
Reply 16
different how? Why shouldn't I apply to a PPH on the basis that it will be easier to get into?

Because it doesn't make sense. If you are for Oxford you will get into any college, it seems. Don't go for a PPH because you think there'll be less competition. I heard that there was only one applicant for eight places to study music this year at ChCh. She didn't get in. If you really want to go to a PPH, then fine. If you'd rather go to a normal college, then don't apply to a PPH as a compromise.
Reply 17
different how? Why shouldn't I apply to a PPH on the basis that it will be easier to get into?

Different as in different facilities, possibly a less diverse group of fellow students (all male, or all of a particular denomination), almost certainly a smaller student body, potentially no accomodation for any year of your course, stricter restrictions on guests and parties - I'd say that's enough to constitute different.

And I am sick of people looking for some kind of "back door" into Oxford. Applicants are made open offers and pooled, sometimes to PPH's, so sub-standard applicants don't get in. Just because PPH's don't get many applicants doesn't mean they'll take you if you aren't good enough. I'm sure PPH's are great if you're religious or like that kind of lifestyle, but I wouldn't have wanted to study there.
Reply 18
yes I concur that if you're not good enough that you won't get in fullstop, be it to a College or Hall. But face it, some colleges are harder to get into than others all things being equal. (Balliol)
Athena, I would be wary of generalising like that. While some PPHs are very strongly religious, or single-sex, or train people for the priesthood, some, such as Greyfriars or Regent's aren't.

Yes, the religion's there if you want it, but equally there is no compulsion. Indeed, Greyfriars makes a point of being blind to the religion of its students, and does not train people for holy orders.

I'll quote from the Greyfriar's JCR website

In all honesty, most people here didn't put Greyfriars as their first choice on their Oxford form. Indeed, most people probably didn't put it down as any choice! Yet there are many reasons why Greyfriars is a good place to live and study in Oxford.

Greyfriars' small size (of just 40 [now 60] undergraduates) could worry potential applicants. Yet our size is, in many ways, extremely advantageous. After just a few days, freshers find that they know absolutely everyone. Greyfriars is an incredibly friendly place and, with a very supportive family atmosphere, our students are never far from a friend. Because the student population is small, individuals are more important. Unlike at some of the large Oxford colleges, students at Greyfriars tend to find their niche, their input is valued highly, and no one is 'lost in the crowd'. The small size of Greyfriars also encourages students to enjoy university life to the full. As the other sections of this website will show, we have an extremely varied student population, which has become renowned for its active role in university life, and which has made Greyfriars a bastion of energy and creativity.

And on the religious aspect

Most students don't know the difference between a College and a Permanent Private Hall. The difference, to be honest, is minimal. Students at both types of institutions enjoy the same quality of teaching, have access to the same university facilities, sit the same exams and, most importantly, come out with the same Oxford degree. As for religion, sure, if you want it, the religion is here. Indeed, the friars eat with the students every day. However, Greyfriars plays host to a diverse community, with Hindus, Jews, and atheists, as well as Christians, and there is no pressure to become involved in the Franciscan side if you don't want to. The student population has an equal amount of males and females and none of our undergraduates are training to be priests. Religion? It's a question of take it or leave it.

So I'd look at the specific PPH in detail, to a greater degree than you need do with Colleges.

Postscript - Rah! A kindred spirit! What has Benet's said about reading lists? I'm still waiting for mine!