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Intro


Widening Access to Oxford


Oxford’s approach to outreach and access and why it’s good news for potential applicants like you


O


xford wants the brightest students with the most academic potential to study here to apply and get in; this means it actively scours the country to inform, guide and advise students and invites thousands of students every year to visit Oxford. Alongside this, the University increasingly recognises that students from some family and educational backgrounds might face bigger challenges when applying to Oxford than others. But Oxford isn’t just talking about widening access, University representatives are doing something about it to.


The University uses a range of information provided by applicants to give admissions tutors the best possible picture about a student’s achievement and the context within which they achieved their grades. One of the aims of using such contextual data is that all applicants will compete on a more level playing field- good news for everyone! To find out more go to www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/ undergraduate_courses/finding_out_more/ contextual_data.html.


Alongside this Oxford runs lots of activities designed to encourage and support people from non-traditional backgrounds to make competitive applications. The University’s current flagship widening access scheme is the UNIQ summer schools. Details are on the University admissions website (www.ox.ac. uk/uniq) – the summer schools are open to any year 12 student at a state school who has achieved certain grades in their GCSEs. Preference is given to students from schools with little history of sending their students


to Oxford, but it’s well worth applying for the programme. Each summer school lasts for a week and is entirely free of charge – you’ll be staying at one of Oxford’s colleges, have the chance to get a feel for the city and see for yourself what studying at the University might be like. The summer schools are perhaps the best way of directly seeing what life as an Oxford student might be like before you apply.


The Student Union runs its own access scheme called Target Schools, which focuses on getting current students to visit schools and encouraging people to apply. The Target Schools campaign also runs a Shadowing Scheme every year, which enables Year 12 students to visit Oxford and spend a day shadowing a current undergraduate. This scheme runs in Hilary term (January-March) every year and is targeted at students from schools that don’t regularly send students to Oxford. Places are limited, but the scheme is always expanding. Email access@ousu.org for more information.


Oxford colleges also run hundreds of events every year for bright students who have the potential to study at Oxford, many of which are advertised through schools so ask your teachers if they know of any upcoming opportunities. Every region in England, Wales and Northen Ireland is linked to a College. To find out more and which College to contact go to www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate_ courses/working_with_schools_and_colleges/ information_for_teachers_and_advisers/ regional_outreach/.


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