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Bursar, Selwyn College Cambridge

Message from the Master, Roger Mosey.


I’m pleased that you’re interested in joining the team at Selwyn.


In the eight years I’ve been here, I’ve seen that the great strength of the college is the way it combines academic excellence with being a strong community. We have limitless ambition, and we expect our students to be the best they can possibly be, but we’re also a friendly place where life-long bonds are formed. Selwyn prides itself on the way everyone works together for the greater good: so it’s our porters who provide a warm welcome to the site, it’s our gardeners who shape the wonderful grounds we inhabit, and we have a terrific team of housekeepers, caterers, conference, maintenance and administrative staff who work to the highest of standards. The goal is simple: a world-class environment to support the brightest students from across Britain and around the globe who study here.


The Bursar is at the very heart of what we do. Martin Pierce has done an extraordinary job in the time he has been here, guiding the college through the pandemic and keeping our operations going and our finances as secure as possible. Under his leadership, we also completed our new £13m library and auditorium project. He well deserves his retirement, and he will leave with the college’s praises ringing in his ears!


Selwyn is by no means the richest college in Cambridge, but we make up for that by being agile and imaginative in the way we operate. We punch above our weight academically and have recently finished in the top 10 colleges in the league tables. We have one of the highest proportions of state school entries in Cambridge, with 80% of this year’s freshers state-educated; and we believe that our increasing diversity is helping to drive up academic standards. We have a strong external profile and we use print and social media to communicate regularly to our highly-engaged alumni. We have a proud record of being the college where Kathleen Lyttelton, wife of the first Master in 1882, was a pioneer of the Cambridge suffrage movement; and we appointed the first female director of music and the first female head porter in Oxbridge. We treat our staff properly: we were early adopters of the real living wage, and were ranked 4th out of the 31 colleges in Cambridge for our support of lower-paid workers.


We’re looking for a Bursar who can keep the college moving forwards in what are difficult times externally, as we recover from the pandemic and contemplate an uncertain future for fees and research funding – and increasing external scrutiny of the way we operate. I’m confident that we can be successful, but this role will require more than ever someone with a vision and the ability to implement it in harmony with the wishes of the Governing Body. We need someone with financial acumen, and also strategic and diplomatic skills that can be deployed in the wider university and beyond – plus the knack of bringing out the best in colleagues. The present incumbent, and his equally esteemed predecessor Nick Downer, have managed to do this and become friends to many of us too. All of us in the college are keen that we find an ambitious Bursar who can inspire future generations in this truly special place.


Candidate Pack




Please send your expression of interest to by 13th June.


If you would like an informal conversation about this opportunity please contact Kerry Shepherd, or Helen Higgins,