The Tutorial System: The Jewel in the Crown

  • Ted TapperEmail author
  • David Palfreyman
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 34)


In his encyclopaedic A history of the University of Oxford, Mallet has claimed that the commitment of the Oxford colleges to supervise ‘the conduct and instruction of their younger colleagues was a natural development of the collegiate idea’ (1927, p. 57) and, likewise, the emergence of the college tutor ‘was a natural development of the college system’ (1927, p. 134). What is fascinating about the history of the European universities is how in the middle ages, having ‘constituted an intellectual community embodying the same ideal’ (Ashby, 1966, Universities: British, Indian, African, p. 4), they acquired very different characteristics in response to the Reformation and the rise of nationalism (Halsey & Trow, 1971, The Decline of Donnish Dominion, p. 34).


Labour Market Nineteenth Century Tutorial System Transferable Skill Collegial Tradition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Allison, W. (1998). Science teaching and the tutorial. Oxford Magazine, 156, 3–4.Google Scholar
  2. Ashby, E. (1966). Universities: British, Indian, African. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  3. Chester, J., & Bekhradnia, B. (2009). Oxford and Cambridge – How different are they? Oxford: Higher Education Policy Institute.Google Scholar
  4. Cobban, A. B. (1975). The Medieval Universities Their development and organisation. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  5. Curthoys, M. C. (1997a). The ‘unreformed’ colleges. In M. G. Brock & M. C. Curthoys (Eds.), The history of the University of Oxford: Volume VI: Nineteenth-century Oxford, Part 1 (pp. 146–173). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  6. Curzon, L. (1909). Principles and methods of university reform. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  7. Dawkins, R. (1996, April). Tutorial driven. New College News, 9, 6–7.Google Scholar
  8. Edwards, C. M. et al. (1997). An open letter to the chairman of the North Commission. Oxford Magazine, 138, 2–6.Google Scholar
  9. Engel, A. (1983). From clergyman to don: The rise of the academic profession in nineteenth-century Oxford. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  10. Faber, G. (1957). Jowett: A portrait with background. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  11. Gregson, J. (1993), Michaelmas Term. Ars Docendi Artium Liberalium. CAM (Cambridge University Alumni Magazine), 6–8.Google Scholar
  12. Halsey, A. H. (1995). The decline of donnish dominion. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  13. Halsey, A. H., & Trow, M. A. (1971). The British academics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Harvie, C. (1976). The lights of liberalism. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  15. Heim, A. (1976). Teaching learning in higher education. Windsor: NFER Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  16. History of the University of Oxford in the 20th Century. (1986, February 14). Seminar series, Tutorials in Oxford since 1945, Nuffield College, Oxford.Google Scholar
  17. Hyde, J. C. E. (1997) Eureka (Letters to the Editor). Oxford Today, 31 (complete).Google Scholar
  18. Lucas, J. R. (1993). Rescheduling. Oxford Magazine, 98, 2–3.Google Scholar
  19. Lucas, J. R. (1996). In defence of teaching. Oxford Magazine, 131, 5.Google Scholar
  20. Mallet, C. (1927). A history of the University of Oxford, Volume III: Modern Oxford. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  21. McConica, J. (1986). The Rise of the Undergraduate College. In J. McConica (Ed.), The history of the University of Oxford, Volume III: The collegiate university. Oxford: Clarendon Press, (pp. 1–68).Google Scholar
  22. Moore, W. G. (1968). The tutorial system and its future. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  23. Morley, L., & Aynsley, S. (2007). Employers, quality and standards in higher education: Shared values and vocabularies or elitism and inequalities. Higher Education Quarterly, 61(3), 229–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Morrell, J. (1997). Science at Oxford, 1914–1939: Transforming an arts university. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  25. Palfreyman, D. (Ed.). (2008a). The Oxford tutorial: ‘Thanks, you taught me how to think’. Oxford: OxCheps/Blackwell.Google Scholar
  26. Rose, J., & Ziman, J. (1964). Camford observed. London: Victor Gollancz.Google Scholar
  27. Rothblatt, S. (1968). The revolution of the dons. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  28. Stewart, W. A. C. (1968). The tutorial and the seminar. In W. A. L. Blyth (Ed.), University teaching methods (pp. 45–55). Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press.Google Scholar
  29. Tapper, T., & Palfreyman, D. (2010). The collegial tradition in the age of mass higher education. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Topping, G. (1997). The cost of quality. Oxford today, 24–26.Google Scholar
  31. University of Oxford. (1966a). Commission of inquiry: Report, Franks Commission. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  32. University of Oxford. (1966b). Commission of inquiry: Statistical appendix, Franks Commission. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  33. University of Oxford. (1997a). Commission of inquiry: Report, North Commission. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. University of Oxford. (1997b). Commission of inquiry: Supplementary volume, North Commission. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. University of Oxford. (2009, October 7th). Address by the incoming Vice-Chancellor. Gazette, 4892(Suppl. 3).Google Scholar
  36. Vice-Chancellor of Oxford. (1988, October 17). Oration. Gazette.Google Scholar
  37. Williams, J. R. P. (1996). Chemistry at Oxford: An isolated activity. Oxford Magazine, 130, 3–5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OtterbourneUK
  2. 2.Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, New CollegeOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations