Photographic history celebrates 40 years of women at Mansfield

Mansfield College is celebrating women at the college with a photographic history. The collection charts the history of women from the first mixed-gender cohort in 1979 to photos of current students. “We’d wanted to celebrate with a big event, but instead, we had to find a digital solution,” the college explained to Cherwell.

“The collection of images aims to recreate the kind of conversations people have at alumni reunions, where they share memories and anecdotes. There’s been such an enthusiasm and warmth to the project from current students and alumni alike, and it’s helped us to feel connected as a community while we’re away from campus.”

Oxford student sets up virtual internships to help Pakistan

A social enterprise founded by Oxford students is helping Pakistani schools and companies conduct online internships. The Dil Internship Project aims to reverse Pakistan’s brain drain by giving students the opportunity to work in schools for disabled students, top universities, and other companies.

The scheme’s founder, Mustafaen Kamal, told Cherwell: “It’s great that we’ve been able to help build the IT infrastructure necessary to conduct our internships online. Helping a company like Karachi Downs Syndrome Programme do virtual internships was always going to be a challenge, but to help them conduct the vital work that they do we had to ensure that the right talent was able to reach them virtually.”

The organisation is also fundraising to help distribute food to families in rural Pakistan, whose livelihoods have been threatened by COVID-19. It has raised over $12,000 for the Paani Project’s emergency Coronavirus fundraiser.

Northern Society’s ‘Mind The Gap Mondays’ social media campaign

The Oxford Northern Society has this past month been running its ‘MIND-THE-GAP-MONDAYS’ series aimed at detailing the regional disparities between the North and South of the UK. The society aims to improve access for Northern based communities  to the university. Their latest social media campaign has highlighted the regional differences in the recent A-level results, inequalities in the arts and the economic differences between the North and South.

Local teenager bakes for care home

Fourteen year old Layli has been baking cakes and biscuits for Chawley Grove, an Oxford care home, over lockdown. Layli told Cherwell: “I thought after working hard for others they would like a nice treat.” The care home told Cherwell: “The residents and staff at Chawley Grove were so grateful for Layli’s bakes… Acts of kindness like Layli’s have meant the world to us all – she’s a credit to her family and to the local community.”

Target Oxbridge expands its reach

Target Oxbridge, a programme helping UK students of Black heritage gain places at Oxford and Cambridge, has announced it will double the number of students it supports every year. Since 2012, Target Oxbridge has supported more than 200 students of Black African and Caribbean heritage to gain offers from Oxbridge.

Support comes through mentoring, university visits, and admissions advice. The programme helped 71 students secure offers this year. The programme is run by diversity recruitment specialist, Rare, in collaboration with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It is delivered to UK-based students in Year 12 through funding from the universities, as well as corporate sponsors Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, and Linklaters.  

Oxford students win Rising Stars Awards

Four Oxford students have been named in the UK’s Top Ten Black Students. In first place was MBA student Dr Diana Wangari, who co-founded Checkups Medical Centres, a network of health centres in Kenya which offer consultation and diagnostics. She said: “Being nominated as one of Rare Rising Stars UK was an honour and I felt humbled to be among other top black students in the UK.” Dr Wangari is also a founding member of the Lens Africa Fund, which supports female-led businesses.

Dr Toluwalase Awoyemi, a DPhil student researching women’s and reproductive health, ranked second. He said to Cherwell: “As recently witnessed, educational inequality is real and has lasting effects. This award, I hope, will help shine more light on this area. In addition, I hope it will give me a platform to help facilitate better collaboration between Oxford and Africa.” Oxford students Roy Seffa-Atakora and Ruth Nyakerario were also named in the top ten.

‘No return to rough sleeping’ says Oxford City Council

Oxford City Council states that “there need be no return to the streets for former rough sleepers” who had been housed in hotels and student blocks during lockdown. 124 rooms of interim housing have been secured for the next year. The council notes that there have been no confirmed cases of the virus among homeless people in Oxford.

203 people have been housed in hotel and student rooms over the past 4 months. 76 people have stayed in Canterbury House, 42 in the YHA, and there are 6 further rooms available from University College for people with coronavirus symptoms.

Councillor Mike Rowley said: “The lockdown period gave us a unique opportunity to engage with people in emergency accommodation. For many of them, the certainty of a safe bed gave the bit of stability they needed to start having conversations about leaving the streets behind for good. We’ve already helped 67 people to move on into more sustainable housing, and this is something we want to keep doing.”

George Street pedestrianised for restaurants

George Street has been partly pedestrianised to enable outdoor dining for businesses, as the city contemplates implementing further bus gates to reduce car access to the city. The road closure, between New Inn Hall Street and Cornmarket Street, provides space for outdoor tables and chairs for around 11 hospitality businesses between 10am and 9pm. There is also a two-way cycle lane.