Launch of Aim for Oxford Programme

On Friday 3 May St Anne’s College Principal, Helen King, and Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, Samina Khan, will host a discussion on widening participation at the University of Oxford and launch the Aim for Oxford programme for state-educated sixth form students from the North East. Taking place at St James’ Park, the event is supported by Chi Onwurah MP and Tom Ilube CBE. 

The University of Oxford and St Anne’s are committed to widening participation and ensuring that the opportunities of an Oxford education are accessible to all those with the potential to thrive here, regardless of background. Oxford’s colleges work with schools across the UK. Under the University’s ‘Link Colleges’ scheme, St Anne’s particularly focuses on working with schools in the London boroughs of Southwark and Hillingdon, and the North East of England as part of the North East Consortium (with Christ Church, and Trinity and Lincoln Colleges). During 2017-18, the College was involved in 108 outreach events, involving 3,200 students who attend more than 170 different schools and colleges.

In addition to maintaining a core level of outreach provision across the region, the College is now launching a more targeted, high-intensity programme based in the North East. St Anne’s will be working in partnership with Christ Church on this programme, Aim for Oxford, which will support a specific cohort of young people in a sustained manner over several years. 

The Aim for Oxford programme will be open to pupils entering Year 12 of a state school in the North East of England. Selection for places will be on the basis of contextualised educational achievement at GCSE together with indicators of social and educational disadvantage. The 40 successful applicants will be expected to meet at least one of a number of widening participation criteria. 

The programme will be advertised to teachers in our link schools from late August 2019 and outreach staff will be visiting schools in the North East to introduce the scheme to students who may be interested in applying. 

The Year 12 programme will include 1-to-1 meetings with selected participants and their parents/carers including personalised Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) support. Further activities involve academic enrichment and IAG sessions delivered across four dates in the North East, a summer independent research project, a 4-night summer school in Oxford, including free travel, accommodation and meals, taster tutorials, library and departmental visits, application support and guidance, and admissions test preparation support. 

Students completing Year 12 of the programme who go on to make applications to Oxford will progress to the Year 13 Programme, which will include interview preparation workshops delivered in the North East, an academic support allowance for each offer-holder to support attainment and preparation for Oxford and a two-night transition visit for each offer-holder.                               

Successful applicants from the first cohort of Aim for Oxford will commence their studies at the University of Oxford in October 2021. Find out more in our brochure.

Helen King, St Anne’s College Principal:
‘This ambitious and exciting new initiative will provide talented students from the North East with insights and the best possible support so that they can aim for Oxford. We are looking forward to working with schools, students, and the local community to open up the University, and reaching those students whose talent we are currently missing.’

Samina Khan, Director, Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach
‘Oxford wants to ensure that students from different backgrounds and regions are welcomed to Oxford. This programme will help to support students in the North East to feel Oxford is for them, and I’m looking forward to seeing more academically talented students from this region coming to study at the University.’

Jennifer Yee, Christ Church Tutor for Admissions:
‘Christ Church is delighted to be collaborating closely with St Anne’s on the new Aim for Oxford programme and we are really keen to work with students in the North East and welcome them to residentials in Oxford. The sustained contact programme is a brilliant way to support young people in their aspirations and visiting Oxford will help them discover what a diverse and friendly place it really is.’

Helen Smith, Director of Sixth Form, St. Anthony’s and St. Aidan’s Catholic Sixth Form, 
St. Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy:
‘St Anne’s College creates so many opportunities for our students both locally and through visits to the university to support their aspirations. As a school we think that it is so important to accept every offer for widening participation for our students that we are offered to show that Oxbridge could be a place for them.’

Find out more about outreach and access initiatives at the University of Oxford at:

St Anne’s College
From its founding as the Society of Home Students in 1879, St Anne’s College has always been about widening access to an Oxford Education. It uniquely allowed women from the UK and many other countries to attend lectures and tutorials whilst living more flexibly and affordably than the other women’s halls in lodgings across the city. St Anne’s ambition is to be a diverse and inclusive community contributing to the University’s commitment to lead the world in education and research, securing the College’s legacy and future. We want to be the home of choice for the brightest and most ambitious students including those from underrepresented groups. We believe that difference should be respected, promoted and celebrated as the diversity of people is a rich source of learning for us all.

Christ Church
Originally founded in 1525, Christ Church was part of an ambitious Renaissance project to improve education. Things have changed a lot since then – women weren’t allowed to study at the University at the time, for example! – and Christ Church is a modern, forward-looking college community living in one of Oxford’s grandest settings. One of the larger Oxford colleges, it is home to about 450 undergraduates and 150 graduates who mostly live in college, between the city centre and the green space of Christ Church Meadow. We offer almost all the subjects taught at the University, from Computer Science to Geography and History. The college is committed to widening access and is keen to welcome talented students from a wide range of backgrounds. This is a place for them to fulfil their academic potential, enthusiasm and ambition.