Magdalen’s South Yorkshire Roadshow inspires future Oxford students

27th November 2019


Our new Outreach and Access Officer, Olivia Webster, recently returned to her home region of South Yorkshire to inspire local students to follow in her footsteps to Oxford.

Olivia, who joined us in June, grew up in Barnsley and studied History at Merton College.

“Throughout my time at Merton I must have spoken to hundreds of prospective students about my degree and my journey to the University,” she said. “I’m excited to be able to continue this work at Magdalen.”

Olivia visited seven state secondary schools in Barnsley and Sheffield – two of our link regions – as part of a week-long South Yorkshire Roadshow, speaking to over 500 pupils aged between 11 and 18.

Five of the schools she visited are part of the College’s priority schools project, which focuses on schools which have previously had little to no contact with the University.

The first two days of the Roadshow were spent in Olivia’s home town of Barnsley, meeting with teaching staff at Barnsley Academy and delivering talks to students at Horizon Community College. She then headed to Sheffield where she delivered an interview workshop to Y13 Oxbridge applicants from Tapton School and Bradfield School.

In collaboration with Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Olivia also delivered an introduction to Oxbridge talk to Y12 students at King Edward VII School. She then finished the week by speaking to Y11 students at Park E-Act Academy and Y7 and Y8 students at the brand new Mercia School, whose headmaster was especially keen to learn more about Oxford.

“The engagement I saw from students and teachers during the Roadshow was amazing,” said Olivia. “The Roadshow really captured our dual aim of encouraging young people to consider any form of higher education, and of helping higher achievers from disadvantaged backgrounds make successful applications to Oxford.’

Following the Roadshow, students from King Edward VII School travelled down to Magdalen to meet student ambassadors and learn about criminal law with Professor Joe Sampson.

For more details about our wide range of outreach and access activities, get in contact with our Outreach and Access team.