On Monday 27 July, 48 Year 12 students of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage from across the country joined outreach officers, academics, and undergraduates from across the Humanities Division for a Virtual Study Day.
The event was organised by Magdalen College, University College, the Faculty of History, and Faculty of English and replaced an in-person event which could not take place as planned in April.
Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, University of Oxford, opened the event and welcomed attendees by introducing the opportunities and resources available to students at Oxford. A Humanities admissions session followed, covering student life, the admissions process, and super-curricular resources. Magdalen History Fellow Professor Siân Pooley also offered an informative Q&A session.
Reflecting on the day Siân said, “It was wonderful to have the chance to work with so many highly motivated Year 12 students, all keen to learn more about studying Humanities subjects at University.
“We hope that the students now feel confident that they too could be part of the next generation of brilliant Humanities students at Oxford.”
Students also had the opportunity to engage with a subject-specific lecture, from the following selection:
• English: ‘The ‘World City’ in Victorian Literature’ by Dr Ushashi Dasgupta.
• Oriental Studies: ‘Islam and Politics in the Middle East’ by Dr Usaama al-Azami.
• History: ‘Representing the First World War’ by Dr Michael Joseph.
• Medieval and Modern Languages: ‘Sixteenth-century French Women’s Writing: Challenging Gender Expectations in Selected Works of the Dames des Roches’ by Nupur Patel.
This inspirational selection of talks allowed attendees to delve further into a topic of their choice and ask questions of the academic speakers about their research.
One of the participants on the day commented, “The study day really showed me that Oxford cares about academic merit not background. Listening to the languages lecture motivated me to explore further into Renaissance France.”
Another participant said, “By the end of the day, I felt that attending this institution was a more tangible goal which I could reach through hard work, without my ethnicity hindering my chances of success.”