Applications have opened for a new, free two year programme run by St Anne’s and Christ Church which aims to increase the number of successful applicants to Oxford from state schools in the North East of England. 

The Aim for Oxford programme is open to pupils beginning Sixth Form. Up to 40 students will be selected based on educational achievement and social and educational disadvantage. 

The Year 12 program includes 1-to-1 meetings with selected participants to impart personalized academic feedback, information about higher education, an independent research project and a 4-night summer school. 

An Oxford University spokesperson said; “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. Through this new consortium approach we want to ensure that students from different backgrounds and regions are welcomed and feel at home in Oxford.

“This programme will help to support students in the North East to feel Oxford is for them, and will hopefully encourage more academically talented students from this region to study at the University.” 

Students who go on to make applications to Oxford in Year 13 will then be able to access interview preparation, an academic support allowance and a two night transition visit for each offer-holder. 

A statement from Christ Church said: “The North East of England is the most under-represented region at Oxford, and we believe deeply that diversity is essential to the flourishing of a lively academic community and to Oxford’s future as a hub of social mobility and intellectual exchange. Geographical diversity is something Oxford needs to continue to work on and we are excited to be part of that through Aim for Oxford.” 

Jennifer Yee, Christ Church’s Tutor for Admissions, added: “We hope will make a real difference for bright students from the area who might otherwise feel that Oxford is not for ‘people like them’. Studying here can be a truly transformational experience and it should be accessible for young people who are bright, committed and ambitious from every part of the country.”

Successful applicants from the first group of Aim to Oxford students will begin studying at Oxford in October 2021.