St Anne’s was founded by women who believed that no-one should be denied the chance of an Oxford education. As a College, we remain true to this founding principle, and we are committed to seeking out talented students from all walks of life. Thanks to our ‘outreach’ work , the student experience at St Anne’s can begin early. Many school age students visit us each year, to meet with our Senior Tutor and dedicated Outreach Officer, and to hear from current students. We also go out and visit schools in all areas of the country, and even abroad. This activity helps to break down ‘myths’ about Oxford, and encourages students from all kinds of schools to consider applying, not only to Oxford but to other top universities. We are particularly keen to reach out to those schools which may not traditionally send many applicants to Oxford. Alumnae donations allow us to employ a team of 30 current St Anne’s students as Ambassadors.
Your support also helps to fund the post of our Schools Liaison and Outreach Officer. We asked our Outreach Officer to describe the impact of St Anne’s outreach activities.
Describe a typical day in your life:
In a typical school visit day, I’ll get into the office first thing and respond to emails, often questions from teachers about visits or queries from prospective applicants.
Each visit begins at around 10 a.m. I greet the group, and then we kick off with an ‘Oxford Explained’ session; an interactive group activity designed to get students thinking about university, and Oxford in particular. This is really useful for gauging how much the pupils already know and to encourage them to start asking questions.
St Anne’s outreach is well-supported by current students and at around 11am, a couple of our Student Ambassadors will join me to talk to the group about their experiences at St Anne’s. They then give the groups a tour of College, and it is always interesting to hear the different anecdotes each student tells!
‘St Anne’s runs a huge variety of outreach events throughout the year, from Open Days and Taster Days for sixth formers, to Raising Aspirations events with 14 year olds. It helps to break down preconceptions about Oxford, and gives St Anne’s (and our current students!) a chance to really demonstrate the friendly and progressive nature of College.’
After a walk around College, we all go to the Dining Hall for lunch.
In the afternoon I will organise an academic taster session or take the groups to another part of the University, be that another college, a department or one of the excellent museums. This afternoon session shows the pupils firsthand the excellent facilities that Oxford students have available to them, whether that’s an interesting taster lecture from one of our tutors, or research materials in one of the University Museums.
After the school groups leave, I’ll spend some time catching up on emails, often organising one of our big events or planning an itinerary of visits for our North East regions. I’ll often talk to a teacher on the phone about a future event once the school day has finished. I might also meet with another Outreach Officer to discuss a collaborative event, or catch up with the JCR Access Officer about our recent activities.
Tell us about your regional activities:
Oxford University has a regionalisation scheme for its outreach activity, so each College is responsible for supporting all schools in particular regions. St Anne’s is the link college for all schools in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear (Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland) and the London boroughs of Southwark and Hillingdon. We travel all over the country, and so do our Ambassadors. They go back to their old schools, and describe their experiences of Oxford – an incredibly powerful way of reaching out to future generations of students.
Did you know?
From 2016, we will have a dedicated ‘Outreach’ centre within our New Library and Academic Centre, where school visitors can meet, have a coffee, and chat with current students