"The committee was most impressed by the quality of the Hall's students, by its scholarly purposefulness and positive approach. Albeit on a small scale and notwithstanding its single-sex status, Campion Hall seemed to the Committee to provide an exemplar of how an academic community should operate. The high standard of its community based academic life, and the central place of an egalitarian ethos supporting academic endeavour were confirmed by all those whom the Committee met.".
These were the main conclusions of the recently released Report of Oxford University's Supervisory Committee for its Permanent Private Halls, following on the Committee's review of Campion in Trinity Term 2014. The ten-strong Supervisory Committee and its officers visited the Hall on the afternoon of 30 May and noon of 30 May and held meetings with the Master, the academic and administrative staff and students to discuss the selfevaluation which the Hall had pre-submitted, and to tour the Hall under the guidance of two postgraduate students and consider its membership, programmes, facilities and amenities, before having afternoon tea with the Hall's community.
Commenting further on the Middle Common Room (concentrating now on postgraduate studies, the Hall possesses no Junior Common Room), the Report observes that "the international diversity of its students...and of its academic visitors is striking". Likewise, in considering the Senior Common Room, it remarks that "Its current fellowship is small in number..., but of high calibre".
The reviewing Committee welcomed the Master's comment that the Jesuit Order, which is the sponsoring authority of Campion, considers the Hall as representing an unusual opportunity, insofar as through the Hall the Jesuit Order has the opportunity to be part of a world leading higher education institute, profiting from its resources and in turn offering its own contribution to the University's life and activities. Accordingly, while welcoming the news that the British Jesuit Provincial Superior has invited the Master to develop a strategic plan for the Hall's future, the University Committee also "believes that this creates an opportunity which the University also needs to recognise and to act upon".
A striking congruity
The Report recognises that Campion Hall could be better known in the wider university, since "the congruity of its aims and ethos with those of the University is striking... The Committee believes that broader engagement enabling the Hall to make a greater contribution to - and to be more widely valued by - the University should now definitely be on the agenda".
Many of the Committee's recommendations apply its concluding conviction that "there should be greater engagement between the University and the Hall," and that this will entail "a growth in post-graduate numbers and in the number of academic staff of the Hall", as well as support being provided by the University to the Hall's art, library and document collections. "It has much to gain from integrating Campion Hall more closely, and the possibility of doing so should not be missed".