Definition of bursar in English:



  • 1British A person who manages the financial affairs of a college or school.

    • ‘There will also be money for extra teaching assistants, administrative staff, bursars and training for teachers, heads and support staff.’
    • ‘Most have their own board of governors and a bursar who is responsible for the school's finances.’
    • ‘This coincided with the dismissal of the Vice-Chancellor, his deputy, and the bursar, who had misappropriated University funds.’
    • ‘Oxford dons such as David Palfreyman, bursar of New College, see it as the best solution to the funding crisis afflicting Britain's universities.’
    • ‘Earlier, colleagues at the university paid tribute to Mr Nicholson who worked as a bursar for three colleges over 24 years.’
    • ‘Conspiracy theories have been fuelled by evidence that the committee of college bursars has commissioned a report into rent levels but has refused to make its findings public.’
    • ‘The deputy bursar pointed out that the service was not just for women, as attacks on men were more frequent than most people thought, although attacks in general were not a regular occurrence.’
    • ‘Having determined future company labour needs, the bursars are selected to satisfy the predicted manpower requirements of the company.’
    • ‘In support of this contention, he quoted a memorandum dated 10 November, from the then bursar of the college which specified that a 50% council tax discount might be granted on houses owned elsewhere by members of the staff.’
    • ‘Such a failure suggests that being divided individual JCRs are unable to conquer the ever more united efforts by college bursars to mount a uniform offensive on subsidisation.’
    • ‘Soon she has landed a job as assistant bursar, displaying a winning way with investments, and manages to get Jake enrolled in the college by exaggerating his rowing prowess.’
    • ‘Every person working in a school has their part to play in raising standards, whether they are a classroom assistant or a teacher, a bursar or a dinner lady.’
    • ‘The Government wants to train more bursars so that head teachers are free to concentrate on classroom matters.’
    • ‘He went to the school on a scholarship in 1902 and when he left in 1905 his first job was as an assistant to the bursar.’
    • ‘Under this practice, the college bursar was compelled to hand out as much money as students might request at the beginning of the semester.’
    • ‘Traditionally, student loan checks are mailed to the university, and the student goes to the financial aid or bursar's office to endorse the check.’
    • ‘Classroom assistants, bursars and caretakers are being joined by cover supervisors, to be followed soon by higher-level teaching assistants.’
    • ‘Under such status, the school recruits its own staff, administers its own finances, employs its own bursar, and makes decisions through the governing body on many major matters.’
    • ‘The college bursar, Graham has a note on file on the day in question, based on information from Carol, gardener at the school.’
    • ‘Over the years he had held several appointments in the College, bursar since 1986, registrar since 1989 and vice president since.’
    clerk, bank clerk, teller, bank teller, banker, treasurer, purser
    View synonyms
  • 2Scottish A student who holds a bursary.

    • ‘All golf bursars are expected to represent the University in all appropriate University and national competitions.’
    • ‘The Bank awards £1,000 for each year of a bursar's degree programme.’
    • ‘That programme has supported 463 students over 5 years, with bursars achieving an 80 to 95 percent pass rate.’
    • ‘The bursars will be chosen on the basis of the information provided to the University through those web pages, with financial need being the major determining factor.’


Late Middle English: from French boursier or (in bursar (sense 1)) medieval Latin bursarius, from bursa ‘bag, purse’ (see bursa).