As I start my third year as Schools Liaison Officer, I’ve decided to filter a few more things through this blog so that readers can see what I get up to when working with schools.
In the past, this has been a great forum for our current students to share their experiences of St Peter’s, and it will continue to be so, but with recent good news in the press it seems apt to showcase more about what goes on behind the scenes in our bid to attract the best applicants from all over the UK and to make sure that information about the University of Oxford gets to all those who have the potential to benefit from it.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it countless times again: here at Oxford, we don’t care about what you look like or sound like, and we don’t care what you wear or where you’re from. If you’re interested in a subject and you can demonstrate those good grades, we want you to apply. It’s this reason alone that sees me traveling thousands of miles across the UK each year talking to bright students, who often just need a nudge of encouragement to make them think about applying.
Behind the scenes
Although August is (naively) set aside for those irksome admin tasks that never quite get done, it actually becomes a time of burning off the overtime that has been accrued from the busy summer months.
Across June and July, I ran 19 events including a teacher conference in Liverpool (which was kindly funded by alumni who had attended St Peter's in 1969), three days on the Isle of Man delivering talks about Oxford and attending their annual HE fair, and a whole host of UCAS fairs and regional events.
We were also really pleased to welcome Southgate School (Enfield/Barnet) and Manchester Academy to the college for a day at the end of June, where they received talks from the Maths department, the Pitt Rivers Museum, and had a tour and lunch with current students at St Peter’s. This is only a snapshot of what goes on in the ever-changing world of Widening Participation and Access, and you’ll see more of this in the coming weeks and months.
Happy New (Academic) Year!
As schools opened their doors to a new cohort of students this week, my inbox opened its door to three million emails (mild exaggeration, though it doesn’t feel like it). The buzz of the new academic year means that as Schools Liaison Officers, there’s a lot of momentum from schools to get events booked in. Already my calendar suggests that I’ll come back up for air at some time at Christmas (which suits me just fine)!
My first event of the season took place last night in St Asaph, Denbighshire. It was the launch of the new Conwy/Denbighshire hub that is part of the Welsh Government’s Seren Network: an initiative to encourage more applications from high achieving students across Wales to top universities across the UK by providing super-curricular support to students from schools across the country.
The event was a huge success and the venue was packed out, with around two hundred parents and pupils attending. I’ll be seeing these pupils a lot in the next couple of months, and it was a great way to introduce myself and to get an idea of what they’re all interested in and thinking about.
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