Schools Outreach for Access to Oxford University

Three Shires 2014 Events


Our main speakers were Dr Richard Earl, Tutor for Admissions at Worcester College and Dr Steve Rayner, Senior Tutor at Somerville College.  They explained how the admission process works and what tutors are looking for in prospective students.  Although the standard is high, the success rate for applications is about one in five, which is better than many other good universities.  For some subjects applicants may be required to sit subject tests or send in examples of written work.  When students are called to interview, tutors are not trying to catch them out, but to see how the student tackles a question.

We heard about how the University and colleges are organised, how to choose a college (you are not obliged to do so) and the tutorial system where two students meet weekly with their tutor.  Tutorials (called Supervisions at Cambridge) are a highlight of studying at Oxford: few other universities offer personal tuition by an acknowledged expert in your subject.

Application Deadlines and further information

The deadline for applications to Oxford and Cambridge for undergraduate entry in 2015 will be 15 October 2014.

If you would like more information on applying to Oxford undergraduate courses please see here.  This is the main page on the University website for undergraduate admissions and has plenty of useful information.  Open days will be held on 2 and 3 July and 19 September.  You might need to book for some events, although there are plenty of drop-in events in colleges and departments.  It may be possible to visit on other days: please check the University website.

Holding Outreach Events

Schools in our area who would like to host outreach events are invited to contact our  young alumni secretary.

Northampton Academy Wednesday 14 May 2014

OUS Three Shires Year 13 Application Preparation Workshops

September 2014

We will be following up this event with workshops on “how to write an effective personal statement” and “interview preparation” which will be led by a representative from Oxford University Admissions Service.   

Oxford University Society Three Shires Branch held its third Oxford University Outreach Event for sixth-form students on 14 May at Northampton Academy.  We thank the Principal, Mrs Anne Hill, for agreeing to host the event and Ms Karen Betty, Head of Careers, and her assistant Ms Maxine Courtney for their enthusiastic support and help with organisation. Thanks also to Julian, our Young Alumni Secretary, for organising our outreach programme.

One of the Branch’s aims is to “spread the word about Oxford” particularly among those who may find the idea of Oxford intimidating. The event was a great success with over 90 young people, parents and teachers attending.  Eleven schools were represented.

The financial support available at Oxford was explained.  As well as the usual grants and loans from Student Finance England the University has its own bursaries which are among the most generous available.  No one should be put off applying to Oxford by financial worries.

We then had short talks from our undergraduates, Matthew Alladin from The Queen’s College and Alex James from Worcester College, telling us about student life in Oxford.  Matthew attended Northampton Academy and is known by many in the audience.

Julian Schreiber, our Young Alumni Secretary, summed up with his speech “Why Oxford?” and then presented the OUS Three Shires Hewitsons prize to Matthew Alladin as the best candidate to get in to Oxford from last year’s event.

After the talks, speakers and members of the OUS were able to talk to members of the audience individually

For anyone who still thinks Oxford is not for all, we leave you with this quotation from a year 11 student: “I looked at my jeans when I came in and wished I’d put on smarter clothes but then I met Steve Rayner and realised he’s just like me really”.

If you decide to apply to Oxford, please keep in touch with us as we shall again be awarding a £50 book token to the candidate present at our event who wins the best Academic Scholarship for entry to Oxford in October 2015.

We are grateful to Hewitsons Solicitors for sponsoring this prize.