19 may 2011

Michelle Obama to visit Oxford


Michelle Obama by Joyce N. Boghosian
First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama is to visit Oxford University on Wednesday 25 May 2011.

Mrs Obama will talk to students from the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Language College (EGA), a secondary school for girls in North London, who will be having a day-long university “immersion experience” at Oxford University at her suggestion.

Mrs Obama has had a connection with the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school since she made a surprise visit there in April 2009 during the Obamas’ first official UK visit. The Office of the First Lady has stayed in touch with the school community since then. Last February, the First Lady invited a group of London students to the White House – including one from EGA – who won a US Embassy Black History Month essay contest.

Thirty-five EGA students will spend the day at Oxford University taking part in tours, career discussions and mentoring sessions to encourage them to learn about the university experience and higher education - with a particular focus on women in science. Their day will end with a chance to meet and talk with Mrs Obama at Christ Church.

The school, named after Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman to gain a medical qualification in the United Kingdom, has as its mission educating young women for the future. Many of EGA’s students are from economically and ethnically diverse communities and more than 90% speak English as a second language.

Professor Andrew Hamilton, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: ‘We look forward immensely to welcoming the First Lady to the University and to sharing with her and the EGA students something of what makes Oxford and the education it offers so special. We are determined to make that education available to the brightest students from all backgrounds, and our outreach programme comprises 1500 events every year, from days like this one to residential summer schools. A deep commitment to the transformative potential of education lies at the heart of Oxford’s mission as a world-leading place of learning.’