The Northgate Project

In autumn 2021 our new Northgate building will open - the largest transformation of the College since the 17th century


Combining new graduate accommodation, indoor and outdoor communal spaces, state-of-the-art teaching facilities and the latest digital technologies, this £40m innovative development will  enrich learning for our students, enhance the world-leading academic research of our Fellows, and enable us to reach more young people through our Access & Outreach programmes. Jesus College will become a global institution.

Located in the heart of our historic city


Located on the corner of Cornmarket and Market Street in the heart of Oxford, the building has been designed by MICA Architects and is being constructed by BAM Construction UK.

The founding of the College’s new Northgate building is made possible in large part thanks to a transformative £15 million donation from Hong Kong entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr Henry Cheng Ka-Shun, through his London-based property company Knight Dragon. The development is named after two members of the Cheng family: the building itself is named after Dr Cheng’s father, Dr Cheng Yu-Tung, and the Digital Hub, a new interdisciplinary education and research space within the Cheng Building, will be named after Dr Henry Cheng Ka-Shun.

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Transforming learning and research in the 21st century


At the heart of the Northgate development is the Digital Hub, a flexible, open and collaborative space in which we will be able to promote the very best interdisciplinary learning and research, facilitate knowledge exchange and bring our community together to collaborate, reflect and celebrate.

The Hub will have state-of-the-art digital streaming technologies that will enable our students to have an exceptional learning experience, allow our academics to engage with colleagues, researchers and institutions across the globe, help us to showcase our research, performances, and lectures to wider audiences and increase the reach and impact of our access and outreach work.

The result will be a more open, responsive, inclusive and integrated College; a College that embraces tradition but is positioned firmly at the forefront of learning and research in the 21st Century.

“The ambition is that this new space will provide an outward facing aspect, presenting an open College to the wider world.”

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt FRS, Principal.

An interdisciplinary research facility for academics and postgraduates


Using the latest digital technologies, our academics will be able to conduct, visualise and disseminate research globally, building ever stronger collaborations with colleagues and research institutions across the world.

New technologies will also enable us to forge links with University of Oxford faculties, museums, archives, libraries and other colleges and provide a flexible approach to our response to University communications priorities and campaigns, such as Global Oxford and Global Challenges.

The exceptional opportunities that the Digital Hub provides will set the bar for postgraduate studies at Jesus College, and inspire the most promising young researchers to consider studying here. Its open plan and flexible convening spaces and resources will provide postgraduates with the environment and tools to work at the boundaries of inter-disciplinary research.

An exceptional learning experience for students


The Digital Hub will provide new visual and interactive teaching tools to enhance learning and support and inspire our students.

The new spaces will further integrate our undergraduate and graduate community with the wider membership of the College, allowing more opportunities for our students to connect with and be inspired by our academic researchers, engage with exciting interdisciplinary research at it happens and be inspired by the wealth of world-leading research carried out by members of College.

“Digital resources form a crucial base of my research material and much of my degree also involves group presentations and projects. The facilities and multi-purpose spaces of the Digital Hub will create a vibrant and stimulating atmosphere to study in.”

Imogen Dobie, History (2018) and current graduate student.

Widening our reach


We believe in equality, inclusivity, diversity and opportunity for all. The digital resources at our finger tips will enable us to increase our reach to young people across the UK who have exceptional academic ability, no matter what their background.

We will be able to build on our experience of developing and delivering virtual outreach activities such as online lectures, summer schools and university open days, and open these activities up to more school students than ever before.

We will use the Hub as a knowledge exchange space for activities with visiting school pupils and teachers. The space will provide a stimulating environment in which to engage school groups and demonstrates that, while we are a historic Oxford college, we are also innovative and outward-facing.

Engaging with the public


The Northgate building also has an important role to play in how we engage with wider audiences in areas that will promote real and sustainable changes in the economy, our society, culture, public policy, healthcare, and the environment.

Utilising the Hub’s flexible technologies, we will be able to support creative activities such as interactive performances, films, talks and exhibitions to engage audiences in new and unique ways.

With new public spaces such as the Tower Room (left), Northgate will become a ‘go-to’ venue for external events hire – allowing more people in Oxford and beyond to enjoy this unique, stunning building and learn more about Jesus College.

The new Northgate development on film