Midweek Birthday Margate
(Credit: Ruth Johnston/Wikimedia)

South Coast

Oxford for South East is keen to target its outreach at communities that need its support the most. Working together, our colleges will ensure that all state schools across the South East will be given access to guidance and resources on supporting Oxford applications. We will also provide some extra projects that target students and schools in areas of the region where progression to higher education is lower, such as along the South Coast.

We list all these activities below, and they also appear on our event calendar.

Some in-person outreach events are currently suspended due to Covid-19. Please get in touch to find out if the event you are interested in is going ahead. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time, and please feel free to make use of our online resources.

For students: Schools Access Programme (all year groups) | Oxbridge Student Conferences (Year 12) | Essay Competitions (Year 12)

For teachers: Schools Access Programme | Oxfordshire and Thames Valley Schools

For families: Supporting Higher Education Choices

For students

Schools Access Programme (all year groups)

The Oxford for South East team visit priority state schools throughout the academic year. We often bring student ambassadors who come from the regions with us, so you have the chance to speak with someone who knows your region and has up-to-date experience of what it is like to study at Oxford. The programme includes a range of activities for students of different ages, from advice on choosing GCSEs and A Levels through to university applications. The events are hosted by a school and are often open for students from other local schools to attend. Please ask your teacher about attending one of these events.

Oxbridge Student Conferences (Year 12)

These events are aimed at Year 12 students who are studying for their A Levels (or equivalent) and are beginning to consider their options for study beyond Sixth Form. The conferences are designed as Open Days on the road, and bring experienced admissions staff, subject specialists and current students from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge to venues around the UK. These full-day events provide up-to-date information about our courses, clearly outline the admissions process and provide students with the opportunity to hear first-hand how our current undergraduates find life at Oxford and Cambridge. More details of these events are found on the Oxford and Cambridge students conference website. Please ask your teacher about attending one of these events.

Essay Competitions (Year 12)

  • St John’s College runs an annual Classics & Ancient History Essay Competition, which is followed by a Subject Exploration Afternoon at St John’s College.
  • St Hugh’s College runs two annual essay competitions for Y12 and Y13 students: the Julia Wood (History) and Mary Renault (Classical Reception) Essay Prizes. Winning essays are published on our website, and winners and those pupils who receive commendations are invited for a lunch in College and an afternoon of getting to know Tutors and current students.

Details of other academic competitions open to students across the country are available on the University of Oxford website. 

Oxford for South East is currently reviewing the support it delivers to students and soon we hope to extend this offer to include:

  • an event for Oxford offer holders attending state schools along the South Coast and their parents– so they can meet each other, ask questions of Oxford undergraduates and make the most of the support offered by the university
  • opportunities to engage and inspire younger students along the South Coast so they can develop their academic confidence and be ambitious about their future lives

In Oxford | Online

For teachers

Schools Access Programme

We visit a large number of state schools throughout the year and deliver sessions to different year groups on a range of topics. Some sessions are about university in general, whilst others focus on the University of Oxford, for example:

For Year 12 and 13

  • Making a Competitive Application to University, Oxford and the Application Process
  • Personal Statement Workshop
  • Admissions Test Workshop
  • Interview Workshop (suitable for Oxbridge applicants)
  • Support for Oxford Offer Holders

For Years 9, 10 and 11

  • University and Future Choices: GCSEs, A Levels and how they link to university courses
  • Why University? Why Oxford? The purpose of university, myth-busting, the cost and a brief introduction to the Russell Group and the University of Oxford

For Years 7, 8, 9 and 10

  • Higher Education Explained: Exploring university and what it might be like to study there
  • St John’s Inspire Programme Pre-GCSE Workshops
  • Oxplore workshops

Whilst the majority of our outreach is directed at older students, we are also able to provide some sessions for primary aged pupils to help them understand university education.

Oxford for South East can also share information on other topics related to widening access and Oxford admissions during access visits. If you have any particular interests that you would like us to address, please do get in touch either with your link college or via our contact form.

From September 2020, we plan to visit selected schools in the following areas.

  • St John's: Southampton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, West Sussex
  • St Hilda's: Surrey, Hampshire
  • St Hugh's: Kent
  • Somerville: Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Buckinghamshire

Schools in Medway should contact Hertford college.

Many of these events are open to students from different local schools to attend. Please contact the college listed for your region for details of school visits your students can join this year and to discuss hosting similar events for students in the future.

Oxfordshire and Thames Valley schools

For information on school visits planned to other parts of the South East please contact the following colleges directly:

  • Brasenose College: Bracknell Forest, Slough, Windsor & Maidenhead
  • Trinity College: Oxfordshire, Milton Keynes
  • University College: Reading, Wokingham, West Berkshire

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For parents & carers

Supporting Higher Education Choices

Our colleges often attend parents’ and carers’ talks that are hosted by schools as part of our school access programme. We are happy to talk with you about how you can support your child to make a competitive application to universities like Oxford, as well as answer any specific questions you might have. Schools will advertise any parent and carer talks that they are hosting, but if you have any specific questions about Oxford, you are welcome to get in touch.

In Oxford | Online