Oxford University will pay travel expenses for some students coming to interview this December as part of its work to encourage more students from all backgrounds to apply to Oxford for undergraduate study.
Interviews are an important part of the undergraduate selection process at Oxford and while accommodation and meals in Oxford's colleges are free for candidates invited to interview, the University has committed to ensuring no students are unable to attend interviews because the cost of travel to Oxford is prohibitively high.
The new system came into effect for the October 2018 admissions round and will pay in advance for low-income UK students studying at state schools who travel by public transport. Students invited to interview will be able to fill out an online form in advance and can pick up their travel tickets from local rail stations or via email.
Professor Maggie Snowling, head of St John's College and chair of the University's Admissions Executive committee, said: 'The cost of travel to Oxford can be prohibitively expensive for candidates coming from far away, especially for candidates from low income backgrounds. This is something concrete we can do to address concerns candidates might have about coming to Oxford, particularly those from under-represented areas and backgrounds we most want to encourage.
'This is just a small step amongst many which Colleges are taking to encourage students who might not otherwise apply to Oxford. I am delighted with the initiatives we are taking alongside colleagues in Departments and Faculties to ensure fair access to all who can benefit from Oxford’s education'.
The new scheme will be a one-year pilot funded by colleges and centrally run. It will be open to candidates from state schools who are eligible for Free School Meals, or in care, or have other compelling barriers to paying travel expenses.