Know Your Oxford uses smartphone navigation to guide newcomers around Oxford
Know Your Oxford uses smartphone navigation to guide newcomers around Oxford.

Interactive audio tour brings Oxford to life for students

Oxford University launched an interactive audio tour today to help new and prospective students to find their feet in the city.

Know Your Oxford uses smartphone navigation to guide newcomers around Oxford, with staff and students giving audio tips on one of the world's oldest institutions as they go.

Narrated by Charlotte Laycock, a current Oxford student from Greater Manchester, the tour features presidents of the African and Caribbean Society and the Dramatic Society; a librarian at the Bodleian; and the President of the University's student union, Oxford SU.

Know Your Oxford is the first university tour to be made available on the popular Voicemap platform.

Narrator Charlotte Laycock started studying at Oxford in 2015 after leaving Aston Sixth Form College Ashton-Under-Lyne. She is now in her fourth year of a Clinical Medicine degree at St Hilda's College.

Charlotte said: 'Going to Oxford was daunting, but the tour will help new students orientate where the most important buildings are within Oxford for them - whether that be a particular library or department.

'Even before applying, this tour will help students to realise that whilst the university buildings are quite spread apart, there is never more than a 10-15 minute bike cycle between buildings.

'The highlights of the tour for me are the Covered Market and Gloucester Green. There is so much to explore in these areas and find something new to try.'

The tour outlines the role of the colleges and departments; gives an inside view on Oxford's academic dress and ceremonies; and points out the museums, libraries and other attractions.

It also includes practical advice on being a student, with information about the students' union and university services; as well as where to find shops, supermarkets, and places to eat and drink.

Martin Williams, Oxford University's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, said: 'Oxford is a fantastic place to be a student, but those who are thinking about studying here, or have just started their studies, can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed.

'This tour provides practical advice in an interactive way, helping to dispel some of the myths about what being a student here is really like. I am hopeful that it will make Oxford seem less intimidating and give them a solid grounding for their future studies.'

Joe Inwood, President of Oxford SU, which worked with the University to develop the tour, said: 'Oxford may feel small and compact sometimes but there is so much to explore and see, especially off the beaten track. This tour really shines a light on some of the hidden gems of Oxford.'

The tour was made possible by the Oxford University Innovation Challenges, which supports innovative ideas at the University.