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?

Ethical Leadership

This session examines the critical role of ethical leadership in the world, and challenges participants to explore their own responses to ethical decision-making.

Key questions include:

  • Why is ethical leadership important?

  • How do we approach ethical dilemmas? 

  • What makes us vulnerable to acting unethically?

Find out more

To find out more, please contact our Programme Team at programmeteam@cumberlandlodge.ac.uk

An information pack can be downloaded from this webpage.

"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