PPE at Hertford College
A Social and Supportive Group
Our PPEists tend to do a lot together, from punting on the river during a free afternoon, to relaxing "down the bar" in the evening (traditionally one of the most popular college bars in the University). With eight or nine in a year, the PPE group is large enough to give social variety, but small enough for everyone to feel close and involved.
This can really help when times are difficult – for example shortly before this page was first written, one of our PPE first years was taken to hospital for several operations (due to a nasty infection), and got regular visits, updates and moral support from the rest. He also got tender personal and medical support from our excellent College nurse. More recently, one of our PPE finalists suffered repetitive strain injury from handwriting during her first week of exams; she had to type the rest, and three PPEists from the year below volunteered to take dictation to help her make revision notes. In this sort of situation, it makes a huge difference being part of a small community in which not only the other students, but also the academic and college staff, know you personally and care about you.
Hertford PPE is academically strong but not competitive, and a lot of cooperative learning goes on. One of the students might have a difficulty, and call on a tutor for a bit of help; then maybe an impromptu class might seem like a good idea, and after a quick phone around everyone who's concerned will meet up in the tutor's room. Classes like this have often taken place at the last minute, for example over the weekend before examinations: something that can only happen in a small college environment, and part of what makes Oxford unique.