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Foreword


elcome to Oxford’s Alterna- tive Prospectus 2012-2014. Since you’ve picked it up and are flicking through it, you’re probably wondering whether you ought to apply to Oxford this year (or next, or sometime in the future). Well, take it from me, it’s definitely worth thinking about.


W


through your enthusiasm for a given sub- ject and your intellectual ambition.


Personally, I can’t imagine a better place to live and study. For a start, Oxford city is a student’s dream location. Full of parks, shops, restaurants, amazing little coffee shops and cafes, enchanting at- tractions and a few secret hide-aways - in term time, students rule the streets and medieval alleys. By the second week of your first term you’ll feel right at home.


Then there’s the actual university itself. Yes, yes, it’s one of the best in the world, is terribly famous and incredibly old and everything, but the point is that you get fantastic libraries, world experts to teach you and the opportunity to explore your passion for whatever subject(s) you want to study.


The chance to grow intellectually here is second to none and it doesn’t matter one bit what part of the country, or indeed the world, you come from, or what colour your skin is, or what school you’ve been to, or how rich or poor you are - Oxford will accept or reject you based on one crucial criterion: your ability to think. And that’s something which only you can determine,


Oxford allowed me to do things that I never imagined doing before I arrived here. I have shaken hands with the Prime Minister and debated with members of the cabinet; worked for an HIV/Aids char- ity in South Africa and given speeches to a room of academics. If you had told me when I was little that I would do any of those things I would have laughed you out the room.


Next year I’m joining the Teach First graduate scheme, so from September I’ll be a secondary school teacher in one of London’s most disadvantaged and chal- lenging schools. Being here has made me realised how education can open up opportunities to people from backgrounds where there aren’t that many.


So, put away any prejudice you might have, and get reading this prospectus. It’s written entirely by students and you’ll soon see from their candid accounts of colleges, courses, student life and diver- sity that Oxford is one hell of a place to live and learn.


Hannah Cusworth


VP Access and Academic Affairs Oxford University Student Union


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