One Year: 1995

Season 2: Episode 2

Fake Oxford

A group of American teenagers went looking for old-world academic excellence. They got a different kind of education.


Episode Notes

In 1995, a group of American teenagers crossed the Atlantic Ocean to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities. When they got to England, they found something totally unexpected.

One Year is produced by Josh Levin, Evan Chung, and Madeline Ducharme. Additional production help from Cheyna Roth. Mixing by Merritt Jacob.

Sources for This Episode


Snow, Peter. Oxford Observed, John Murray Ltd., 1991.

Tempest-Mogg, Brenden D. Bricks & MortarboardsCanterbury: Warnborough Publishing, 2020.


Barwick, Sandra. “A Far Cry From Oxford,” Sunday Telegraph, Oct. 29, 1995.

Donegan, Lawrence and Alex Bellos. “Threat to Sue ‘Oxford’ College,” the Guardian, Oct. 3, 1995.

Gilje, Shelby. “This College Is in Oxford, But It’s Not the University,” Seattle Times, Sept. 27, 1995.

Gilje, Shelby. “Students Find Warnborough Is Not a Part of Oxford,” Seattle Times, Oct. 1, 1995.

Herzing, Michael J. “Local Man Seizes Two Chances of a Lifetime,” St. Marys Daily Press, June 14, 1995.

Holden, Wendy. “College May Face Legal Action Over Oxford Link,” Daily Telegraph, Oct. 3, 1995.

Hotakainen, Rob. “Student Who Thought He Applied to Oxford Alleges Scam,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oct. 4, 1995.

Huck, Mark M. “No Formal Tie Claimed,” New York Times, Oct. 7, 1995.

King, Tim. “ ‘Oxford’ College Sued in U.S. Is Repossessed,” Daily Telegraph, Oct. 29, 1996.

Lyall, Sarah. “Americans Say a College Near Oxford Duped Them,” New York Times, Oct. 2, 1995.

Lyall, Sarah. “Innocents Abroad, Oxford-Style,” New York Times, Oct. 8, 1995.

O’Leary, John. “College That Lured U.S. Students Goes Bust,” the Times, Oct. 29, 1996.

O’Leary, John and David Charter. “U.S. Students Say College Misled Them Over Link With Oxford,” the Times, Oct. 3, 1995.

O’Neil, Tim. “Alton Scholars, Expecting Oxford, Discover ‘Dump,’ ” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 2, 1995.

Rubin, Amy Magaro. “College in Oxford Faces Charges of Misrepresentation,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 20, 1995.

“State A.G. Sues ‘Oxford University,’ ” Associated Press, Oct. 5, 1995.


Tempest-Mogg, Brenden Dayne. 1990. “A Case Study of Warnborough College: The American College in Oxford, England,” EdD diss., The George Washington University.


About the Show

The people and struggles that changed America—one year at a time. In each episode, host Josh Levin explores a story you may have forgotten, or one you’ve never heard of before. What were the moments that transformed politics, culture, science, religion, and more? And how does the nation’s past shape our present?

The new season of One Year covers 1995, a year when homegrown terrorists attacked Oklahoma City, America went online, and the Macarena took over nightclubs.

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