About the John Locke Institute
John Locke Institute is an independent educational organisation that works to embolden the best and brightest students to become more academically ambitious and more intellectually adventurous. Through our various programmes - residential courses, revision seminars, essay competitions, and special events - we inspire students to aim high and we equip them with the skills they need in order to achieve their goals.
Who was John Locke?
The Institute is named in honour of the eminent seventeenth century Oxford philosopher, John Locke. As influential in the United States as in his native England, John Locke was the grandfather of Classical Liberalism. The very ideal of the Renaissance Man, Locke was a philosopher, political scientist, economist and medical doctor; he was a man of ideas and a man of action. We honour his philosophy of education: a teacher “should remember that his business is not so much to teach all that is knowable, as to raise in [the student] a love and esteem of knowledge; and to put him in the right way of knowing and improving himself”.
What do we do?
In the spirit of John Locke, the Institute provides educational courses – in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Mathematics, and Literature – designed to present students with new ideas and to challenge old habits of mind. We provide methods and encouragement for refining and developing independent thought, and we promote reasoning skills to cultivate a critical faculty and an analytical cast of mind. Above all, we seek to impart a love of learning that we hope our students will hold on to for the rest of their lives.
Inspiring a Love of Learning
Most of our courses consist of individual tutorials, small seminars and informal collaboration with other students. Learning is active, and students participate actively, reading, arguing, listening, debating, presenting, writing, and – above all – thinking. Our learning environments are diverse: Oxford colleges, the French countryside, London boardrooms, Venetian canals, an English palace, the D-Day beaches of World War II.
The John Locke Institute also fosters high-level cooperation between educators, researchers, economists, and policy experts, in leading universities, colleges, research institutes and think tanks, in the United Kingdom and the United States. Our academic conferences commission high-level research, create opportunities for collaboration, and generate discussion papers and new research agendas. We aim to build bridges between individuals and institutions, breaking free of institutional conventions and national constraints. We seek to facilitate and generate new knowledge and understanding of the potential for progress in educational excellence that might be found by rediscovering what has been lost, and by pioneering what has never been tried.
We strive to nurture academic ambition. Past students have gone on to study at Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Chicago, and Berkeley. We also strive to make learning stimulating, rewarding, and fun. We think John Locke would approve:
“Were matters order’d right, learning…might be made as much a recreation to their play, as their play is to their learning.”
We hope you enjoy browsing our website. For more specific information, or if you would like to get involved in our work, please contact us.
“I would recommend the John Locke Institute Summer School to all aspiring Oxbridge economists, philosophers, PPE-ers and historians. Daily seminars from Oxbridge tutors, in the glorious surroundings of Bayeux, are intellectually stimulating and really broaden your mind. I was also lucky enough to make great new friends from the course both in the UK and the US. The summer school has to go down as one of the highlights of my summer.”
Oliver Wilson (Harrow School)