Our Story


Warnborough College was founded by Ethyl Tempest-Mogg in Oxford in 1973. Originally founded for visiting American students keen to experience the Oxford Socratic method of learning,  Warnborough soon acquired an increasing number of international students who had the opportunity to study English and take courses for university entrance.

From its beginning, sponsorship was obtained from many American educators including the Presidents of various universities, Bishops of several dioceses, and the President of the National Council of Churches of America. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sent her warmest wishes for a successful future. Read more about our founding sponsors.

Expansion of Programs

During the 1980s and 1990s, Warnborough expanded its facilities and programmes to cater for an increase in international students from all over the world. Many governments sponsored students to study at Warnborough, including from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela,  Jordan, Malaysia, and Uruguay. Popular International Summer Schools (ISS) were held at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and London and appealed to mature American students.

Further expansion in 1985 saw the successful launch of a study abroad programme in Australia for American students. In 1987, the Archbishop of Canterbury authorised the appointment of an Honorary Chaplain to Warnborough, who was also responsible for the Warnborough Australian Studies Programme.

From 1988 to 1991, Warnborough College held degree-granting status from the Education Licensure Commission in Washington, DC. Thereafter, Warnborough offered foundation courses for entry into UK universities, and American colleges and universities. The college became an accredited centre for the University of Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations in 1990, and courses were taught for their Certificate in Travel and Tourism, and International Business English.

Relocation and the Internet

Although Warnborough had acquired an excellent reputation for the various programmes it provided, it became clear that the Boars Hill campus in Oxford had reached its capacity and would soon be unable to meet the college’s expansion requirements without substantial reinvestment. In the end, the campus was sold in 1992  and then leased back until the college relocated in 1996.

1996 was also the year in which the college made the decision to embrace the new technology offered by the Internet to offer its courses by distance learning. Initially, it was an option just for students to complete the dissertation requirement of their programmes. Today, this technology forms the backbone of our short courses, certificates and diplomas.

A Branch in Ireland

Warnborough University was incorporated in 1997 to ofer online and distance learning programmes leading to degrees at all levels. It was renamed Warnborough College Ireland in 2006 to meet accreditation requirements. It celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017.

Warnborough in Canterbury

Warnborough College made the famous cathedral and university city of Canterbury its new home in 2001. Like Oxford, Canterbury is steeped in history, being the frst place in England where education was formalized. It is somewhat poetic that the Archbishop of Canterbury had appointed an honorary chaplain to Warnborough over a decade beforehand. A new building was purchased and dedicated in 2010 as the new Warnborough headquarters.

Looking Ahead

Warnborough Publishing was founded in 2011 to provide a new opportunity to students, staff and alumni in terms of publishing their work. Since 1998, Warnborough has focused on partnerships with centres and institutions around the world to help develop its vision of bringing education to students, rather than students to education. We now have over 40 academic partners around the world offering a range of qualifications at different levels.

The annual Canterbury Arts Conference was inaugurated in 2013, sponsored and spearheaded by Warnborough College. Participation has come from all corners of the world. On the slate are a range of community development programmes, working in various countries to help build capacity, improve knowledge and enhance opportunities locally.

Our Philosophy

The College believes in its independence and focuses on creating an international, multi-cultural and multi-racial student body and faculty. The College believes in linking academic disciplines with the worlds of learning and work, and between nations. A Warnborough education is based on the following principles and values:

  • A commitment to academic freedom
  • A disciplined exploration of ideas
  • Rational discourse, clear thinking, and articulate self-expression
  • A tolerance of, and an appreciation for intellectual and cultural differences
  • Fostering international understanding through mutual co-operation among all students

The College assures equal opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status, in the admission to and participation in its programmes and activities.

Our Vision

The College’s vision encompasses teaching, learning and fostering academic communities at all levels. Its intent is to make accessible and provide quality educational opportunities to as many people as possible. The College is committed to a rigorous quality assurance regime which seeks to foster a defnitive international and forward-thinking institution committed to providing quality life-changing, e-distance learning and student-centred educational opportunities to students of all backgrounds while fostering the goodwill and academic community that is the bedrock of the College philosophy.

Our vision is global.

We believe that learning is not a terminal process or restricted by boundaries.

Our vision is learner-centred.

We believe that the academic and career goals of each learner are paramount, and treat learners as experienced equals in the learning process either through distance or through traditional learning.

Our vision is open learning.

We believe in strongly supporting learning in its many forms. We design programs to maximise effective learning and combine technology (e.g. the Internet, multimedia) with traditional methods (e.g. face-to-face teaching at our learning centres worldwide).