124 Oxford students, staff and alumni have joined a programme aimed at encouraging pupils at their former state schools to apply to university.
Oxford students were the biggest group to offer their support to this year's Back to School Week, organised by FutureFirst, a social enterprise charity who aim to encourage people to return to their old state schools to give career and UCAS talks and guidance, become a governor, or make a donation.
Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) and the University's Widening Participation team worked together to sign up as many undergraduates to the scheme as possible. OUSU signed up students during Freshers' Week while Widening Participation handed out postcards to University staff and sent information to local parents whose children take part in the University's outreach schemes.
Oxford University Press, a department of the University, will also be contributing 1,000 books which will be given to state school students as part of Widening Participation's primary school programme, which is run by the Widening Participation team with 35 schools in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Swindon.
Rachel Pickering, Vice-President for Access and Academic Affairs at OUSU, said: 'We managed to sign up three times as many people to this excellent scheme than any other student union, accounting for nearly 5% of national sign-ups. This is amazing and really proves how engaged our students, staff and alumni are in outreach and access work.'
Tara Prayag, the University's Head of Widening Participation, said: 'Our staff make countless visits to schools throughout the year to encourage students to think about higher education, but there is no substitute for schoolchildren being able to hear directly from students who were in their position only a few years ago.'