Students involved in a St Catharine's Session at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor

Cumberland Lodge offers visiting student groups the option of a 'St Catharine Session', led by a member of our academic staff. 

The sessions are designed to encourage students to reflect critically on ethical, moral and social issues outside of their own field of study. They take the form of an interactive, round-table discussion of up to an hour in duration, based on a briefing pack and short readings provided by the session leader.

St Catharine's Sessions are a long-standing Cumberland Lodge tradition, inspired by our founding principles as an educational foundation.

Available sessions

We currently offer three different sessions:

Free Speech and Hate Speech

This session focuses on 'no platforming' and the status of the university as a 'safe space'. It gives students the opportunity to discuss the limits to free speech on campus and to consider the impact of hate speech.

Key questions include: 

  • Is there a conflict between protecting freedom of speech and supporting 'no platforming'?

  • Should there be limits to free speech on campus?

Higher Education and Social Responsibility

This session addresses the role of the university in wider society and explores the value of academic neutrality. 

Key questions include:

  • What is the value of a university education? Is it morally valuable or is it simply the best route to social and economic advancement?

  • Should universities remain neutral on political and social questions?

Immigration and Integration

This session examines the political and cultural atmosphere surrounding immigration in the UK and explores the ethical implications of immigration and integration.

Key questions include:

  • Does multiculturalism pose a threat to national identity?

  • What are the ethical implications of policies that focus on the integration or assimilation of migrants to British culture?

Find out more

For more information, or to request an information pack, please contact our Education Officer, Dr Rachel Smillie, at

"Our students greatly enjoyed having the opportunity for an informal discussion as part of our St Catharine's session. Our facilitator from Cumberland Lodge did a great job at posing provocative and stimulating questions that got the students thinking hard about social implications of their research, and framing the course in a broader perspective." - Dorothy Bishop, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, University of Oxford