Oxford University students vote to keep ‘archaic’ subfusc academic dress

May 23, 2015 by


Critics had argued that compulsory wearing of mortarboards, gowns and traditional outfits was elitist and off-putting

Exams are stressful, even without having to balance a mortarboard on your head.

Yet Oxford University students, in what may be a testament to their obviously formidable academic ability, have voted overwhelmingly to keep them to hand while doing finals.

They were given the choice after some argued that the outfit and its associated dress code, known as subfusc, was archaic, elitist and off-putting to people from state schools and poor backgrounds.

However, in a referendum held by Oxford University student union (OUSU), 75.8% (6,403 students) voted to keep it, while 2,040 (24.2%) voted against.

Separately, 78% (6,242 students) voted to keep the gown and mortarboard compulsory, and 22% (1,759) voted against.

Oxford is one of the few UK universities where full academic dress is still regularly worn. Mortarboards and gowns are compulsory for degree ceremonies as well as exams and other ceremonies.

Source: Oxford University students vote to keep ‘archaic’ subfusc academic dress | Education | The Guardian

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