SOMERVILLE'S VERY FIRST ACCESS ROADSHOW!
For the first time ever this summer, a group of eager Somerville Student Ambassadors are looking to raise £2000 to carry out a ‘Roadshow’ which will allow us to go out to state schools in our target areas of Hounslow and Kingston-Upon-Thames, to widen access to Oxford and higher education in general. This is an amazing opportunity to meet with pupils and talk about life at Somerville today and the fantastic educational and extra-curricular experiences we all have had here.
A roadshow is essentially a tour in which current students visit schools in the target areas to talk to pupils about applying to Oxford. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and stereotypes floating around about Oxford. Every year, talented and enthusiastic pupils are put off applying because of these, and we want to change this. By visiting schools directly and speaking to the pupils, we are able to dispel these myths and stereotypes and share an accurate account of life at Somerville. While prospectuses and online material can give a great idea of life at Oxford, they don't compare with speaking to an actual student. Spending even a short amount of time with a potential applicant, settling any worries and answering any questions they may have, can be the difference between them applying and not. At Somerville, we want students who are enthusiastic and passionate about their subject from all backgrounds, and by visiting schools, we hope to inspire such pupils to consider applying.
To follow the project and all other Access work at Somerville, like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/somervilleaccessandadmissions !
The Student Ambassadors
Louise is a second year Maths student at Somerville, and is the current JCR Access and Admissions Officer. Coming to Oxford from the bonny hills of Aberdeenshire, as a former pupil of Inverurie Academy, Louise is passionate about widening access to Oxford and encouraging talented students from all backgrounds to apply.
Grace is a third year Medicine student at Somerville, and is the former JCR Access and Admissions Officer! Coming from St. Joseph's RC Comprehensive in the Welsh town of Port Talbot, Grace is enthusiastic about all things Access and would love to see as many people applying to Oxford as possible.
We will be accompanied by 6 other brilliant undergraduate Student Ambassadors from Somerville! If you want to know more about us, we’d love to hear from you and you can contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!
Access at Somerville
Widening access to Oxford and higher education is something we're very passionate about here at Somerville. Every week we love welcoming state schools to our college, to show them around and dispel the myths and stereotypes about Oxford! Between school visits, we host a number of events throughout the year, such as a "Girls Into Science" residential visit, and various Study Days, all of which are extremely effective in encouraging participants to consider applying to Oxford.
Unfortunately, travel is expensive, and not all of our target schools have been able to visit us. Speaking to actual students on College visits is one of the most effective ways of widening access, as pupils see that applying to Oxford is something that is achievable, and more importantly, an achievable option for them. So if a school can't come to us, then we'd love to be able to go to them, which is why this Roadshow is so important!
We really believe that talented and passionate students should feel that they can apply to Oxford, regardless of their background. By donating to this campaign, you'd be helping us reach out to schools and pupils, potentially opening up opportunities that have always been there for them but before have seemed unachievable.
"Somerville College is consistently at work to expand its Access & Outreach programme, aimed to widen participation in Higher Education. Our established cooperation with 100 schools, within our link UK regions and beyond, has so far motivated and inspired a large number of pupils from state schools to pursue University degrees. A fundamental aspect of this wide-reaching endeavour is our enthusiastic team of student ambassadors, committed to communicating their personal experience of Somerville College to perspective applicants. The ambassadors' team is now launching a brand new Access Roadshow, designed to promote direct contact with state schools. As part of this initiative our students will spend two days visiting a number of schools in Hounslow and Kingston-Upon-Thames, where they will be able to meet pupils, provide information, and answer questions in an informal setting." Dr Foteini Dimirouli- Access Office
So where will the money go?
The minimum target will allow us to take our team of ambassadors to our target areas for two days, with an aim to visit 8 schools in this time. Obviously we'd love to hit our full target, as this would allow us to visit even more schools!
If things really take off and we raise more than our target, the extra funds would be used to enhance the already fantastic Access work done in Somerville, and potentially contribute to a future roadshow.
A big thank you!
We have some great rewards to thank everyone who donates. All donations are greatly appreciated and will make a real difference to making this important project happen. Check out our rewards on the right-hand side of this page!
How you can help!
You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.
That said, we'd really love it if you could give us money. Please help us to bring a wave of new and talented students to Somerville from a variety of backgrounds, by allowing us to run this Roadshow!
Please like our Facebook page to follow all things Access and Admissions at Somerville, at https://www.facebook.com/somervilleaccessandadmissions
If you want to find out more information about our Access work at Somerville, for example we are currently exploring the possibility of hosting a Summer School at the College, please do get in touch with the Development Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can make your gift today by clicking on the 'Sponsor Project' button.
If you would like to make a gift, but are unable to do so via PayPal, you can visit Somerville's online giving page on our website. You will then need to select the 'Annual Fund' and note that your kind gift is to be designated towards the Access Roadshow. Alternatively, we are able to take credit and debit card payments over the phone on 01865 280626.
Thank you so very much!
Have you sponsored this project? If so, log in to comment on updates!
Now three months after the Roadshow, we have gathered feedback from schools and are really excited to share with you some of the comments we recieved.
- "I think their opinion of the application process changed as it was demystified for them"
- "Meeting the ambassadors was really useful for them to see that they were 'ordinary' young people"
- "I think the presentation dispelled some outdated stereotypical impressions of what Oxford students are like and what the university is looking for in its applicants"
- "The pupils felt that the students were approachable, and I felt that they did an excellent job of selling Oxford as both an aspirational and achievable goal"
- The (example) interview questions were very interesting and the students felt proud to have been able to give responses to them"
- "The pupils were very positive and felt more informed"
- "The example of interview questions (was) very useful - in particular it engaged one of the less attentive boys in the audience who was evidently keen to discuss the question posed, despite perhaps considering himself "too cool for school"!"
The Roadshow was a great success, and once again we'd like to say thank you to everyone who supported us.
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far - we are now 54% funded and are just over £400 from our target! Please share the link if you can, so that we can tell even more people about our project and access work here at Somerville. Thank you all so much on behalf of the whole student ambassador team, we're all very excited!
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/somervilleaccessandadmissions
We'd like to give a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far - we've currently raised £635 (a fantastic 31% of our target!). Please keep sharing the link and spreading the word about our project, and remember to 'like' our Facebook page to keep up to date with the Roadshow and all the other Access/Outreach work happening at Somerville. Thank you again!
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/somervilleaccessandadmissions
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