Access and Outreach
One of our most important responsibilities is to ensure that prospective students with the greatest potential have every opportunity to realise it here, at Magdalen. A gift to our Access and Outreach Programme will help us to reach the brightest students from the widest possible pool and give them the information and support they need in order to make a competitive application.
Our Outreach Team has faced challenges during the pandemic in trying to ensure that the young people in our link regions and beyond continue to be supported. In place of in-person visits to Magdalen, we ran virtual taster days and virtual taster subject lectures. For young people unable to attend live events, we have also created a bank of online resources including academic and admissions talks, student Q&A videos and a resource pack to help students explore their chosen subject. During Trinity Term we held 30 outreach events involving over 500 potential applicants with more events planned over the coming weeks.
The breadth and scope of our Access and Outreach activity continues to expand enormously. Magdalen already works with in partnership with educational organisations including Target Oxbridge, The Access Project, and IntoUniversity and we continue to strengthen these relationships.
We continue to increase the number of outreach events and moved these online which is proving valuable in reaching a wider audience, we are engaging with the Shakespeare Schools Festival and working particularly with under-privileged groups and children in care. We have recently launched the NextGen programme with Oxford for East Midlands which is a sustained contact programme beginning in Y10 for 7 specially selected schools in the East Midlands. Over the summer, we will be holding our Law at Magdalen Residential (hopefully in person), an online Physics and Engineering programme and supporting the second cohort of Pathway to Success leadrship programme.
Our Outreach Team will continue to adapt to face these new challenges. This would not be possible without the continued generous support of our alumni.
There is no doubt that the programme has the power to change lives. One of our current students Daniel Dipper, shares his story below.
I am a disabled student from Peterborough and the first in my family to go to university. I was also part of the first cohort from my non-selective state school to ever apply to the University of Oxford and I have now just successfully finished my first year studying History and Politics.
Outreach has been crucial to my journey to Oxford – without Outreach I would never have considered applying. My head of sixth form encouraged me to apply. What the programme actually did for me was make Magdalen really seem an option on the table, a place of academic rigour while a place equally to have fun, and most importantly a place where I could see myself. I was also a participant on the inaugural Opportunity Oxford programme which is a post-offer holder scheme to smoothen the transition to university for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Many of my closest friendships were forged on this programme but it also set me up for success in my first term by giving me a much clearer idea of what was expected of me.
Outreach changed my life. Now I have come to Magdalen, I am very keen to give back for all the opportunities I was given. I’ve become an Access and Outreach Ambassador for the College where I aim to participate in at least 3 Q&A’s with prospective students a term. These events are truly inspiring as it’s great to hear how keen so many students are, and equally it reminds me of my own journey.
Access and Outreach is crucial in ensuring Magdalen continues to remain a hub of academic excellence – diversity of thought produces enhanced academic outcomes, giving new perspectives on topics by utilising individuals’ experiences. Access and Outreach is also important from a fairness standpoint – anybody who has the ability should have the opportunity, so it is about knocking down barriers and encouraging people like me who had never considered applying and wouldn’t have done without the College’s Access and Outreach initiatives.
Director of Development
+44 (0)1865 286796
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