The commission noted that the government, which would have a role in approving any removal, had backed a 'retain and explain' approach to contested historic statues and sites.
“The governing body has carefully considered the regulatory and financial challenges, including the expected time frame for removal, which could run into years with no certainty of outcome, together with the total cost of removal,” Oriel said.
Neil Mendoza, the provost of Oriel College, said he understood that the “nuanced conclusion” would disappoint some.
Rhodes, a mining magnate, was a central figure in Britain's colonial project in Southern Africa, giving his name to Rhodesia, present-day Zimbabwe, and founding the De Beers diamond empire. He expressed racist beliefs and implemented racial segregation measures that paved the way for apartheid.
A head of Rhodes was chopped away from its bust at a monument on the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town last year.
A student at Oriel in his youth, he endowed the Rhodes Scholarships, which have allowed more than 8,000 students from around the world, including former US president Bill Clinton, to study at Oxford.