Applications are now open for Aim for Oxford, a targeted, free, 2 year programme run by St Anne’s College and Christ Church College, with the goal of increasing the number of successful applications to Oxford University from state schools in the North East.
Currently students from the North East are underrepresented at Oxford, which has just been named as the world’s top ranked University for the fourth year by the Times Higher Education.
The Aim for Oxford programme is open to pupils entering Year 12 of a state school in the North East of England. Up to 40 students will be selected on the basis of contextualised educational achievement at GCSE together with indicators of social and educational disadvantage. Successful applicants will be expected to meet at least one of a number of widening participation criteria.
St Anne’s College Outreach Officer, Jessy McCabe, will be visiting a number of schools in the region in the week commencing 23 September to introduce the programme to students who may be interested in applying.
The programme was initially launched on Friday 3 May at St James’s Park with the support of Newcastle Central MP, Chi Onwurah. St Anne's College Principal, Helen King, and the University of Oxford’s Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, Samina Khan, hosted a discussion on widening participation at the University of Oxford, which also included current North East students at St Anne’s College and Oxford University offer holders.
The Year 12 programme will include 1-to-1 meetings with selected participants and their parents/carers including personalised Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) support, academic enrichment and IAG sessions delivered across four dates in the North East, a summer independent research project, a 4-night summer school, including free travel, accommodation and meals, taster tutorials, library and departmental visits, application support and guidance, and admissions test preparation support.
Helen King, St Anne’s College Principal, said: ‘This ambitious and exciting new initiative will provide talented students from the North East with insights and the best possible support so that they can aim for Oxford. We are looking forward to working with schools, students, and the local community to open up the University, and reaching those students who we are currently missing out on.’
Students completing Year 12 of the programme who go on to make applications to Oxford will progress to the Year 13 Programme, which will include interview preparation workshops delivered in the North East, an academic support allowance for each offer-holder to support attainment and preparation for Oxford and a two-night transition visit for each offer-holder.
Samina Khan, Director, Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, said: ‘Oxford wants to ensure that students from different backgrounds and regions are welcomed to Oxford. This programme will help to support students in the North East to feel Oxford is for them, and I’m looking forward to seeing more academically talented students from this region coming to study at the University.’
Helen Smith, Director of Sixth Form, St. Anthony’s and St. Aidan’s Catholic Sixth Form, St. Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy, said: ‘St Anne’s College creates so many opportunities for our students both locally and through visits to the university to support their aspirations. As a school we think that it is so important to accept every offer for widening participation for our students that we are offered to show that Oxbridge could be a place for them.’
Successful applicants from the first cohort of Aim for Oxford will commence their studies at the University of Oxford in October 2021.