Cambridge University to ban use of the term ‘Oxbridge’ due to elitist connotations

Anyone caught using the word will be forced to undertake a mandatory ‘inclusivity training’

A leaked email has revealed Cambridge University’s plans to ban official use of the term “Oxbridge” due to its elitist connotations.

The ban, which comes into effect on Tuesday 23rd April 2024, will be policed by a scanning of “all emails sent from university addresses” for the prohibited word.

The email also revealed that that anyone found using the word “Oxbridge” after the implementation date will be required “to undergo compulsory inclusivity training.”

The term “Oxbridge,” which is used to refer collectively to Oxford and Cambridge, the UK’s two wealthiest universities, has been deemed by the university to hold “elitist connotations” which may “inadvertently perpetuate exclusionary attitudes within our community.”

According to an anonymous insider, the university has been discussing the ban “since April last year.” They also informed The Cambridge Tab about a recent focus group, where “more than three quarters” of the partaking Cambridge students admitted to feeling significantly offended by the word “Oxbridge.”

As the emphasis on inclusivity grows, admissions staff have raised concerns that historic terms such as Oxbridge, which imply a hereditary right that certain students be accepted, have no place in a modern egalitarian admissions system.

Archibald Guggenheim, a professor of eugenics at Oxford University, tells The Cambridge Tab he is “outraged” at the proposal: “My family have been attending Oxford and Cambridge for generations. The term Oxbridge may be a symbol of status and privilege but we refuse to be embarrassed of our history.

“Cambridge has already reduced its private school intake, and it is coming very close to erasing tradition altogether. Something like this would never happen at Oxford, and you would never hear Durham complaining about the term Doxbridge.”

Bartholomew Bancroft, a former boat race prodigy, is a member of the Oxford and Cambridge private members’ club in London. According to Bancroft, abolishing the term could have “dire consequences” for the investment prospects of Cambridge graduates who currently benefit from their “shared heritage” with wealthy Oxford alumni.

The Cambridge Tab also spoke to Henry Righton, a supervisor and activist at Cambridge who argues the ban is “long overdue.” He said: “Banning the word Oxbridge may be the first step, but many other things need to change. For example, the Cambridge week beginning on a Thursday and May Week being in June are ways the institution deliberately tries to confuse and exclude us commoners.”

Cambridge is urging members of staff to support the ban, claiming that working together to implement it will create a “welcoming and inclusive environment” for the university community.