The Oxford Union was established in 1823 to uphold free speech. As we celebrate our Bicentenary year in 2023, we remain committed to that founding principle and believe that those skills should be open to everyone.
We support and celebrate the many outreach activities championed by The University of Oxford. The Union, too, upholds its own commitment to outreach which began in 2010 with our 'Change Through Debate' initiative. Today, the Union leads of range of outreach events throughout the year to transmit an enthusiasm for debating which we believe can play a powerful role in an individual's personal and educational journey. We also seek to dispel many of the myths around applying to Oxford by answering any questions visiting pupils might have whilst also explaining more about the Union's own history.
Please note that while we try our best to accommodate requests, the final structure of a planned visit will depend on the availability of our student-led committee and could be subject to change. Please do take note of Oxford's term dates and provide us with sufficient notice of your intended visit. There is no charge to visit the Union for state schools. We do request that private schools offer a nominal donation amount which goes towards the upkeep of our listed buildings.
Thank you for your interest and we hope to welcome you and your school to the Union soon.
When will I have my place confirmed?
Visits will be confirmed a week in advance, this is when the deadline for applying to visit also closes. This is done so that we can allocate spaces as fairly as possible.
When should I arrive in Oxford?
If attending a debate, please arrive in at the Oxford Union by 7.30pm to receive a tour, earlier arrivals will also allow you the opportunity to watch and speak in the weekly Emergency Debate, which features floor speeches, that happens prior to the main debate, beginning at 7.30pm.
What time do debates usually finish?
The main debate usually concludes between 10:00pm and 10.30pm, with results usually announced just before 11pm. You are welcome to leave earlier - we just ask that groups do not depart during a speech.
What will the visit involve?
We will do our best to tailor a visit to the requirements and requests of individuals schools. Out visits typically include a tour of the Union where our committee will be happy to answer questions about our history as well as the University of Oxford admissions process. Where resources allow, we can arrange a short debating workshop and access to some of events. Once we receive your enquiry we will get in touch to discuss exactly what experiences your students would like to get out of a visit and whether you have any accessibility requirements.
If you have any further questions, please email email@example.com.