Over the past four weeks (26 June to 27 July), approximately 1,200 state school students from across the UK have attended a residential summer school at Oxford.
The UNIQ programme aims to help students under-represented at Oxford make successful applications to the University. One of the Oxford’s key access initiatives, it reflects the University’s ongoing commitment to increasing the number of students from a diverse range of backgrounds. The residential summer school took place for the first time in person since before the pandemic.
The students, many of whom were staying away from home for the first time, each spent four days living at some of the colleges located across the city and experiencing life at the University. Participants worked with academics in face-to-face lectures, labs, and tutorials across 30 academic courses, including Archaeology and Anthropology, Engineering, History, Law, Linguistics, and Mathematics. They also got to know current Oxford undergraduates in their role as Student Ambassadors and UNIQ Site Managers – many of whom were once UNIQ participants themselves.
The programme started in March when UNIQ students took part in ‘Lets Oxplore’, an online activity through which they explored new subjects, and learnt to think like an Oxford student, before completing a module giving an introduction to life at Oxford. Now the in-person academic residential has been completed the next online module will provide participants with an introduction to the admissions process, and support on what to expect from admissions tests, as well as an introduction to Oxford interviews. Many UNIQ students go on to apply for Oxford – last year 172 past participants successfully secured offers.
Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at the University of Oxford, said, ‘We are delighted to have welcomed young people from across state schools in the UK back to Oxford for the UNIQ programme. Over the four days we aimed to give students from less privileged backgrounds the tools they need to prepare for university life, as well as give them a real sense of all the University has to offer. Every year more students from diverse backgrounds get offered places at Oxford with help from UNIQ.’
Applications for next year’s programme open in December 2022. Find out more about UNIQ here.