By Matilda Trueblood
College and Departmental programmes:
Colleges and departments offer a large range of events like open days, sample lectures and school visits, which can be found on their websites. Some also run larger scale programmes to support applicants, such as the University College Opportunity Programme, which offers additional place to students from under-represented groups (with the same competitive admissions process) who receive targeted support and a four week bridging programme before they start their degree.
Student Run Programmes
UniReach (previously OxPath):
This is a charity which provides short sessions (30 minutes to 1 hour) on any part of the application process, from personal statements to mock interviews. It is open to anyone. You can fill out a form on their website and be matched with an Oxbridge student in your subject within 48 hours. In 2020, 80% of students who used UniReach received an interview and 57% were made an offer for 2021. Their recent Oxbridge Unlocked event, which contained a talk on applications and Q&As with students from lots of different subjects, was recorded and can be found on their YouTube. Check out https://www.unireach.co.uk/ for more information.
This organisation aims to tackle the inequality within the applications process by matching up students from disadvantaged backgrounds with mentors at Oxford. Students are matched with mentors based on their subject, college of interest and background. They receive support with personal statements, tailoring applications, college choices, aptitude tests and mock interviews. Check out http://unipear.co.uk/ for more information and mentee testimonials.
InFuse is running a week-long programme in August with Oxbridge students to give insight into life at Oxford and Cambridge, personalised guidance on applications, subject-specific sessions with students, and sessions with professionals, including David Miliband as the guest speaker for 2021. Go to https://in-fuse.co.uk/ for more information.
This organisation is a multifaceted programme to support applications to Oxford and Cambridge. Students in Year 12 or 13 at a UK state school and with a good academic track record can apply for weekly one-to-one tailored mentoring with current undergraduates studying your subject. The mentoring programme receives a 95% satisfaction rate from students. Oxbridge Launchpad also runs personal statement workshops for students. Their information hub is available to anyone and contains an array of resources about the applications process. Oxbridge Intelligence is an academic newsletter which is designed to help A-level students engage with their subject beyond the curriculum. Head to https://www.oxbridgelaunchpad.com/ for more information.
This charity runs the Oxford Mentoring Programme, aiming to increase the application and success rate of students from underrepresented ethnic groups, low socio-economic backgrounds, state schools and areas with low progression rates to university. Students are paired with an Oxbridge graduate in their subject for mentoring on their applications to Oxbridge and other top universities. The programme contains everything from course and college choice to interview preparation, with monthly mentoring sessions and webinars by the central team. Uniquely, it provides reading lists and a full syllabus created by professionals to help with preparation and bridge the gap to university. OMS alumni also enter a large network of students across the country, and Social Impact Internships in the summer are available to them. Check out https://insightoutreach.org/ for more information.