School groups meet Congressmen at Rothermere American Institute

More than 70 GCSE students heard talks from two former U.S. Congressmen at the Rothermere American Institute’s annual 'Congress to Campus' event.

Schoolchildren came from eight schools including Alder Grange School in Rossendale, Lancashire, Old Swinford Hospital School in Stourbridge, West Midlands, and The Cooper School in Bicester to take part in the event, which took place on Friday 7 March.

The speakers were former US Representatives Bob Clement, a Democrat who served Tennessee’s fifth district; James Coyne, a Republican who represented Pennsylvania’s eighth district; Matthew Barzun, U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Nigel Bowles, Director of Oxford University’s Rothermere American Institute; and Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University.

Dr Huw David of the University’s Rothermere American Institute said: 'The RAI is committed to promoting a wider understanding of American history and politics and Congress to Campus is the centrepiece of our regular activities with local schools.

'We are grateful to the former Congressmen, who spoke about their political backgrounds and fielded intelligent and thoughtful questions from the students on issues such as US foreign policy, the Edward Snowden leaks, and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (popularly known as 'Obamacare').'

Mike Nicholson also spoke at the event. He said: 'Congress to Campus is a fantastic opportunity for students who might be considering studying politics at university to meet leading experts at Oxford University and leading practitioners from the House of Representatives. The students were impressively committed – one group even left Rossendale in Lancashire at 5.30am to get to the event.'

Congress to Campus is an annual event bringing bipartisan pairs of former Members of Congress to the Institute and is organised in association with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress and the Eccles Centre at the British Library.