Why Oxford Will Never Name College After Thatcher

To Margaret Thatcher, the University of Oxford was like a helicopter parent. Britain’s late former prime minister spent adulthood distancing herself from her alma mater’s base of academic dissenters. It only made sense that, once Thatcher’s quest to commodify education gelled into national circles, the university would deny her its most reflective rite, an honorary doctorate.

The snub, which dates back to 1985, became a mutual discord with time. After 5,000 Oxford students and over 700 academics declined to reward her with the degree, Thatcher’s spokesman said, “If they do not wish to confer the honor, the prime minister is the last person to wish to receive it.”

But London Mayor Boris Johnson refuses to accept the impasse. Not only does he want Oxford to apologetically grant her an honorary doctorate, he also wants the university to name a college after her. Continue reading Why Oxford Will Never Name College After Thatcher