A recognised independent centre (RIC) of Oxford University is a status awarded to acknowledge a special relationship with a small number of institutes and centres which are involved in teaching and research in their specialised areas in Oxford.[1][2]


RICs are educational charities based in the Oxford area which, while not part of the university, are recognised for their contribution to university research and teaching in contemporary and historical areas of interest. The formal designation was created in 2006.[3] Five institutions have so far been awarded RIC status.

While the RICs remain independent financially and in governance[4] they make a significant contribution to the university in research, tuition, and publishing. The university has established a Joint Coordinating Committee for Recognised Independent Centres, which links the university and RICs. The University Council and relevant faculties nominate members to sit on the governing bodies of the RICs.[5]

A student at an RIC is not automatically a member of the university but can apply to use its facilities, as well as its libraries and manuscript collections. In practice the majority of students attached to RICs will also be registered as students of Oxford University, and be members of colleges. Some academics hold joint appointments made between university faculties and RICs.[6]

As well as participating in university-wide research and teaching,[7] the RICs interact with each other. Shaunaka Rishi Das, the founder of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, was mentored in establishing his centre by Professor David Patterson, the founder of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.[6]

Whatever its specialist interest, each RIC helps to link distinct communities and cultures with scholars, the government, and the media in a fast-paced critical dialogue.

Current recognised independent centres of Oxford University

Name Founded Notes
Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies 2004
Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies 1972
Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies 1997
Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies 1985 Gained royal charter in 2012
Oxford Institute for Energy Studies 1982


  1. ^ Recognised Independent Centres – University of Oxford. Ox.ac.uk. Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  2. ^ Review of Oxford by Jan Morris | The Nomad Lawyer. Nomadlaw.com (2009-07-10). Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  3. ^ OCHS wins Oxford recognition | The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. Ochs.org.uk (2006-06-23). Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  4. ^ [oucs] OUCS Entitlement – Recognised Independent Centre. Oucs.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  5. ^ Council and Main Committees, Oxford University Gazette. Ox.ac.uk. Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  6. ^ a b Croft, Sally, Editor, Blueprint: Staff News for the University of Oxford, March 2008, Oxford.
  7. ^ Buddhist Channel | Buddhism News, Headlines | Europe | First endowed Professorship in Buddhist Studies in the UK is established at Oxford. Buddhistchannel.tv. Retrieved on 2011-03-21.