Saturday, October 15, 2011

Oxford Matriculation Ceremony

If you are walking around Oxford this weekend you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into the set of a Harry Potter movie.  As the first weekend of full term, it is a special one for Oxford in which one of its most famous traditions, Matriculation takes place.

Matriculation is a fancy ceremony that marks students formal admission into Oxford University. Students are marched from their various colleges in full academic dress (or sub-fusc) to the Sheldonian Theatre where they are greeted in both English & Latin by the Vice Chancellor. The ceremony itself only takes around half an hour and unfortunately only students may attended however you’re bound to see them before and after the ceremony wizzing past on their bikes or posing for photos outside.

Sub-fusc is worn by students for exams and formal academic occasions and is the full cap and gown affair. Students may wear either the gown from their previous degree (regardless of which University they attended), or the Oxford Graduate Student’s Gown, with the streamers on the side. In addition, men wear a dark suit, black socks and shoes, a white shirt and white bow tie. Women wear a black skirt, white blouse, black tights, black shoes and a black tie. That said, there doesn’t seem to be any regulations as to how short the girls’ skirt can be or what type of shoes they can wear. I wouldn’t exactly call black Cons formal.

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