Andrew Boggs (DPhil)

Tell us something about what you were doing before you came to Oxford

I was research director for a public agency established to research higher education policy issues in Canada.

What do you like most about studying in the Department of Education?

The international experience and perspectives brought to every class and every discussion. Both the student population and the academic staff are drawn from the four corners of the earth.

What attracted you to the programme of study here?

Two things: the first was that Oxford has a dedicated higher education research group and a Masters of higher education, helping ensure a critical mass of people working in and around the academic area I love. The second was the opportunity to work in an university that has had an unfathomable impact on university systems around the globe. For someone studying universities it’s heaven.

What qualities do you think an Education student at Oxford needs to have in order to be successful?

It is important that potential students be self-motivated and prepared to contribute. All students, D.Phil and masters, need to see their experience as something they will contribute to, not take from. Participation in the department, in class, and in outside discussion is key.

We hope that you would recommend the Department of Education as a place to come and study. What reasons would you give for this?

The atmosphere in the department is welcoming and friendly, but retains the necessary cut and thrust of rigorous academic debate. The academic and administrative staff are very helpful and always prepared to talk and discuss questions or concerns. The incredible variety of backgrounds the students bring the department is stimulating and makes every day a learning experience.

If I knew before I started the course what I know now, I would….

I would have spent more time on statistics! Although it’s not core to my doctoral research, it is such an important skill to have. I did learn a lot as it is, but there is always more to do.

What are three things that you might suggest to students coming after you to help them get the most out of their time here?

  • Remember to seek out other lectures, seminars, talks, symposia both in the university. Oxford really is an intellectual centre – take advantage of it.
  • Do get involved in your college’s societies, sports and governance – the collegiate is one of the best things about Oxford. Grad students at large research universities typically don’t, or can’t, get involved in university life. The college system make it easy and enjoyable. Try something new.
  • Take advantage of the time between terms to get reading and work done. When the term hits there are literally thousands of worthwhile (and not so worthwhile) distractions.

Page last modified: August 30, 2017

Programme of study


D Phil