Celebrating 10 years of COMPAS in numbers

Published 8 October 2013 / By COMPAS Communications

Back to Articles

Birthday Candles week Nick sent an email round to all staff here reminding us that it was COMPAS’ tenth birthday on 1st October. It started us thinking about the history of COMPAS and things that people don’t know about us. For instance, do you know the reason why we have an orange logo? When the original application was submitted we wanted to ensure we gave it the best possible chance, and this included various superstitions. A colleague told us that when she was a child, if she really wanted something she never called it by its name but always called it ‘Tangerine’. So the potential migration centre was for months referred to as ‘The Tangerine’. Then we noticed that the building that the university had promised us should we be successful had orange fruit in the stained glass decorating the door. This was the first sign that COMPAS would indeed be funded, and recognising this we decided that, to coin a phrase, ‘the future was orange’. (And once building decoration was begun staff discovered a boarded up fireplace which, when uncovered, revealed a tile surround of oranges!) So here are some other little known facts about our centre in ‘COMPAS-by-numbers’:

1 skeleton was discovered in the cupboard when we moved into the building – we never did find out what happened to it.

3 directors (well this is perhaps better known): Steve Vertovec was the director for the first 4 and a half years. He left to become a director of a Max Planck institute in Germany and Nick Van Hear stepped in to fill the breach. Michael Keith joined us in 2008 for the next four and a half years….

COMPAS door4 buildings: space is an issue in Oxford and we have been very fortunate in having 58 Banbury Road as our base for all these years. Because we’ve grown we’ve spilled out into various different buildings along the Banbury Road – at the moment we’re also in number 43.

13 DPhils successfully completed and 14 current students in 5 different disciplines.

43 Briefings on the Migration Observatory website explaining what we know and don’t know about the scale, characteristics and impacts of migration and migrants in the UK.

124 events: we’ve hosted a massive range of events since we started. The first five years were characterised by the COMPAS annual conference, and since then we’ve had smaller, more intense events, but look out for the Decade of Migration in February 2014. This will be an opportunity to look back and to look forward to the future of migration research and policy.

204 academic publications on a range of migration related issues.

248 seminars and 28 breakfast briefings: these weren’t included in the events! The seminars are weekly and in term time. Every Thursday at 2pm and open to the public they have been a characteristic of COMPAS for ten years. Tea and biscuits afterwards, and for those who want to, ending in a visit to the pub.

Man Having Birthday at Work2,749 COMPAS facebook likes, 2,416 twitter followers and high numbers of visitors to our website and weekly blog: one of the biggest changes from when we started is our online engagement.

32,750 (approx.) biscuits consumed in the staff common room over 10 years!