Hertford has a long and slightly dodgy history, having gone by turns bankrupt and by the names of Hart Hall and Magdelen Hall before now. It’s large and diverse, whacked straight in the middle of Oxford right next to the Bodleian library. Its bridge (which looks a bit like the Rialto in Venice if you squint) is a tourist magnet. Hertford students have academically twinkled in sports, music and the arts. The College is pretty inclusive and has traditionally been one of the more liberal — one of the first to unbar its gates to the girlies, and to maintain an oestrogen-heavy sex ratio — and it's attractive if not pant-ruiningly gorgeous.
|Sex ratio (M:F): 49:51
|Full-time u’grads: 365
|State:private school: 57:43
|Academic ranking: 18
Student-run bar; strong drama and music; Baring Room (cap. 250) is one of the funkiest venues in any Oxford college; themed bop cellar Saturday nights. JCR with pool table, games machines and Sky TV, DVD library; new Moroccan chill-out room. Twice weekly JCR bulletins; College magazine ‘Simpkins’ (after the College cat). Catholic church, CofE chapel. Library (47,000 books, 24-hours, staffed 8am–3.30pm); 27 computers, JCR IT Officer. Sporty, excelling in rowing and rugby; four tennis courts, squash courts, boathouse 10 mins' away by bike, multigym and weights room in College. All accommodated (first years in College, later years in annexes), but quality, size and location are a mixed bag; all rooms have broadband access; self-catering available; twice weekly formal dinners (charged retrospectively), termly black tie dos, cafeteria, new coffee bar. Bike lock-ups, limited car parking, CCTV; doctor and nurse; Women’s, Men’s, LGBT and two Welfare Officers; good security, £1-a-trip late-night taxi fund for students travelling back to College alone. Scholarships for bright academic sparks.
St Alexander Briant (martyr); John Donne (poet); David Elleray (football ref); Charles James Fox (18th-century politician); Thomas Hobbes (philosopher); Henry Pelham (ex-PM); Jonathan Swift (satirist); William Tyndale (translator of international bestseller, the Bible); Evelyn Waugh (writer).