Oxford's UNIQ summer school is in full swing for its ninth year, ahead of a major expansion for its tenth birthday.
More than 850 UK state-school students will take part in a week-long summer school in July and August, living in residential colleges and taking part in a typical Oxford academic week including tutorial teaching. Students can try one of more than 30 undergraduate subjects at Oxford, and a range of sessions also provide information about the application and selection process at Oxford.
Victoria Cox took part in UNIQ in 2013 and is a student mentor in this year’s summer school, having just finished her degree in biochemistry. She said:
'I went to an underfunded state school with hundreds of students where my approach to education changed and became more independently determined to succeed. UNIQ made me feel welcome at Oxford and that I did fit in. I absolutely loved the experience and knew I wanted to apply to Oxford after it. I had to convince my dad that it was a good idea so took him on the September open day and he also loved it!'
More than 6,400 students have taken part in UNIQ since its launch in 2010, with around 1,400 going on to attend Oxford. UNIQ students have a 33% chance of getting an offer when applying to Oxford, compared to an average of around 20%.
The University has recently announced a 50% expansion of the programme for its tenth year, building on their success with students from under-represented backgrounds. From next year, UNIQ’s intake will rise from around 850 A-Level state school students to 1,350 a year. Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at Oxford University, said: 'UNIQ is a wonderful example of what can happen when bright students are given the chance to realise their potential and increase their confidence.
'Thanks to the cooperation of our colleges, academics and student mentors, UNIQ students tell us their time in Oxford inspires them to broaden their ambitions and trust their abilities – and we see the impact in the number of successful UNIQ applicants to Oxford.'
UNIQ's expansion will be funded jointly by the University and from the generous donation made to Oxford by the businessman and philanthropist Sir Michael Moritz and his wife, the novelist Harriet Heyman.