With cuts to higher education imminent, OUSU’s ‘Target Schools,’ has enabled 200 state school students to spend a day shadowing Oxford students. Participating pupils also attended workshops held across a two-week period.
The scheme aimed to challenge enduring perceptions about Oxford stereotypes, and to debunk myths. The campaign slogan was, “It’s about where you’re going, not where you’re from”. Students involved shadowed current undergraduates, sat in on tutorials, and learnt more about the application process.
An overwhelming majority stated that as a result of the scheme, they were much more likely to apply to Oxford. One state school pupil said, “My student was great and I had a brilliant day – it was way better than Cambridge!”
Becca Tibbs from Wadham College, Shadowing Co-ordinator for the scheme, described it as a “great success”. She said, “It’s been fantastic to speak to so many students who have left feeling much more positive and informed about Oxbridge applications.
“From my own experience and from speaking to school students, spending time with a real undergraduate is the only way to truly debunk the myths surrounding Oxbridge.”
A spokesperson for the University said, “Last year the collegiate University as a whole, including OUSU, ran over 1,500 outreach events. Target Schools events are a vital part of that activity, which aims to encourage everyone with the academic potential to consider Oxford.”