US Graduates at Oxford – Chris Shaw

Christopher Shaw accepted his place as a DPhil Theology candidate at Regent’s Park College despite the financial pressures that exist for Oxford’s US students. His determination is inspiring and the University is working hard to provide matched funding for postgraduates so that students like Chris don’t have to rely on government loans to study at Oxford. Read Chris’ story here…


As a candidate for the degree of doctor of philosophy in theology, I am focusing on how various theological principles can be re-contextualized for the 21st century. The opportunity to undertake this study at the University of Oxford represents the summation of my life’s goals up until this point. In short, Oxford opened a door for me and as I passed over that threshold I found myself in an unparalleled world of new opportunity where I could enhance my academic expertise, develop vocational skills and networks, and perhaps most importantly, revitalize my sense of personal formation.

Coming as a student from the United States, the financial cost of taking up a position at Oxford is enormous. My education is funded entirely on US Federal loans, and I chose to come to Oxford despite these financial hardships. However, many of my compatriots end up turning down their places at Oxford solely on account of these financial pressures.

I believe that the intellectual resources, cultural diversity, and academic excellence that are well established in Oxford are like nowhere else in the world. It is my hope that the University of Oxford will find a way to offer financial support to all of its post-graduates, so that all students who are offered a place can attend this world-class University, regardless of their social or economic background.


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