Access & Outreach

Welcome to Access & Outreach at Jesus College

Our aim for this section of the website is to introduce the various outreach initiatives we offer to state schools and colleges, and under-represented groups within our link regions. There’s also some helpful guidance and links to resources that may be of interest.

At Jesus College, we firmly believe a diverse community is a stronger community, which is why we seek to attract and select the very best applicants based only on their academic potential.

In line with other Oxford colleges assessing undergraduate applications, we do take into account our applicants’ contextual data. To find out more about this, click here. We also take into account our applicants’ disabilities. To find out more about this, click here.

Oxford’s world-class education should be available for all with the academic ability and potential to benefit from it. However, we recognise that there is much work to be done to make this a reality for all prospective students in the UK. This is why we offer and support an extensive range of school visits, outreach programmes and activities for prospective students from non-selective state schools and under-represented groups. You can find information on all our programmes further down on this page.

School pupils visiting Jesus College as part of one of our summer schools

School pupils visiting Jesus College as part of one of our summer schools

While our main focus is working with pupils in Year 9 and above, we’re keen to develop and build our engagement with younger pupils too. Click on the video below to see how an example of primary school outreach visit to Jesus College. If you’re a teacher from a primary school in our link regions do get in touch to discuss how we can work with you.

Furthermore, we understand that not all those with the potential for higher education study come to university at the ‘traditional’ age of entry. The Oxford college of Harris Manchester is dedicated to students over the age of 21. However, at Jesus, we would like to encourage people of all ages to consider applying – especially if you’re a first time entrant to higher education.

Please get in touch with Shelley Knowles if you would like some guidance, or would like to visit Jesus College for a tour.

Our Access and Outreach Programmes 

We want visiting pupils and prospective applicants from our link regions to experience what it could be like to be a student at Jesus College and the University of Oxford. It’s important that visitors leave with a clear understanding of what we offer and how the Collegiate system works. Moreover, we want you to envision yourself learning here and being part of a community that welcomes everyone, regardless of their background.

Providing access opportunities to schools and colleges who aren’t able to come to Oxford is vital to our outreach work too: we regularly visit schools and colleges in our link regions to deliver various programmes and activities. We’re also working on our digital outreach to improve the online resources available to potential applicants. Check out Useful Resources & Info for interview samples and admissions advice.

In January 2021 we launched an online programme to support British Bangladeshi and Pakistani students in making competitive applications to universities like Oxford. Full information can be found here.

A day at Jesus College where participants are offered an academic led experience including age-appropriate lectures, Q&A sessions with current Jesus students, application and interview guidance, College/city tours and lunch at the College. These visits can be adapted to accommodate pupils from Years 5 – 13.

Below is an example timetable of a typical school visit to Jesus College. However, we can design a visit programme to suit the needs of your school or group, so do contact the Access Fellow if you’d like to discuss further. Similar Q&A sessions and lectures can be delivered in your school/college too, so do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more.

A typical Taster Day runs from approx. 10:30-15:00. Session times may vary depending on group size.

10:30 Arrival and ‘Ask Us Anything ‘/ Intro session
11:30 Lunch and tours
13:00 Academic Taster session
14:00 Skills session / Admissions session
14:45 Final questions and close

Subject-specific seminars covering various topics (dependent on tutor availability).

Workshops and talks designed to: explain and ‘demystify’ Oxford; explain the application process; offer advice about writing a good application/personal statement for Oxford; provide guidance on how to prepare for admissions tests; and, deliver interview workshops aimed at preparing applicants for potential interviews.

Similar sessions can be delivered in your school/college too, so do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more.

A fully-funded, one-week Residential School and a two-week free Online International Summer School for Welsh State School Year 12 pupils involved with the Seren programme. Find out more here.

A three-day residential for Year 12 pupils from the Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire Seren Hub regions. This is a multi-subject programme delivering a variety of lectures, workshops, seminars and activities. Students in these Hubs should contact their Hub Coordinator for details.

In partnership with Seren, we support Routes Cymru – a modern languages event for Welsh Seren Foundation Year 8 and 9 pupils. This is a 2-day programme designed to enhance knowledge and aspirations as these pupils begin thinking about their journey in applying for Oxbridge and Russell Group universities in the future. You can find details for the most recent event here.

In association with the University of Oxford’s Oxplore platform (the home of ‘BIG questions’) this Competition is for Year 8-11 pupils attending a Welsh State school. Find out more here.

We’re excited to support Universify Education’s Easter and Summer residential programmes for London students. Find out more here.

We attend schools and UCAS Higher Education fairs in Wales and London to deliver advice and guidance about the University of Oxford.

In conjunction with the Oxford colleges of Trinity and Wadham, we host 100 young women scientists from Wales, London, the North East and Oxford. Find out more here.

We are keen to hear from prospective applicants entering higher education at a non-traditional age. Mature students (covering students from age 21 to 91) come with a variety of life, work, social and cultural experiences. This often overlooked demographic of students can come to university with challenges and commitments that traditional entry students may not.

They also bring commitment, determination, and courage that can only serve to improve the institutes to which they belong!

At Jesus College we would like to encourage this diverse group to consider us as a potential choice for their Oxford application. In 2019 we collaborated with the University’s Department for Continuing Education to encourage and support prospective mature applicants. We aim to continue and develop this work and will also expand our access and outreach efforts to further support mature students in the future.

If you are a mature student or a teacher working with mature HE applicants, do get in touch with Shelley Knowles to discuss how we can work with you. You might also like to watch our Applying as a Mature Student Part 1 and Part 2! on our You Tube Channel.

We also support our friends across the University with various outreach initiatives including:

Oxford Pathways

A free University of Oxford programme providing information, advice and guidance on higher education and Oxford to academically able students, and staff members, in non-selective state schools with little history of student progression to Oxford.

OxLibris

A service run by University of Oxford librarians for sixth form students who are planning on completing an EPQ.

Oxford University Pakistan Society

We supported the OxPakSoc Access Conference in 2018 and 2019 and hope to work more with this group to improve progression of students from Pakistani backgrounds to Oxford.

A collaborative approach towards a common goal benefits so many pupils, hence we work with various charities and organisations as part of our access endeavours. We’ve supported some fantastic and inspiring access and outreach work from various organisations by providing venues, resources, academic sessions, advice and/or financial support for their programmes.

The Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club visit Jesus College for various events including launches and graduations for their Scholars programmes. Pupils come from various parts of the UK and participate in Q&As about university life, are given tours of Oxford and have lunch in the College.

IU Ox

Into University, East Oxford Centre, have held several Buddy Programme events at Jesus. Here we provide College tours, Q&A sessions, lunch for the group and offer support and guidance about university.

IU Lambeth

As with the East Oxford Centre, we’ve supported a Buddy Programme visit with the fantastic Lambeth Centre too. One of our brilliant students also delivered an exciting workshop to Year 8 pupils on Government and Politics. The pupils had a great time creating their own Parties, writing manifestos and voting for their favourite new Government Party!

NACE

We’ve supported conferences held by the National Association for Able Children in Education. You can read ‘Oxbridge admissions interviews: “4 Cs” for success’, written by our Access Fellow, Dr Matt Williams, on the NACE website. We also participate in NACE webinars, providing advice and guidance to teachers and schools on developing skills for university.

Onyx

We’re offering financial support to help fund the publication of Onyx Magazine. Onyx is a social enterprise magazine run by Black students at the University of Oxford, with the aim of responding to under-representation both within higher academic institutions and the creative industry by platforming Black artistry. Onyx is an annual publication that promotes the work of Black writers and artists aged 16-28. The magazine is largely arts based, including poetry, short stories and artwork, as well as more academic articles and historical think pieces. You can follow the magazine on twitterInstagram and Facebook. If you’re interested in providing financial support for future publications of this fantastic magazine, then do contact Onyx via their website.

Project Access Poland

Project Access is a global community of students and mentors working towards improving access to top Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) for   disadvantaged pupils. At Jesus College we have supported Project Access Poland with a week-long Easter residential for thirty students. By providing   resources, lectures and accommodation, students get an immersive and engaging experience of learning and living at the University of Oxford.

Target Oxbridge

Target Oxbridge is a free programme that aims to help black African and Caribbean students and students of mixed race with black African and Caribbean heritage increase their chances of getting into the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge (known collectively as Oxbridge). Since launching in 2012, Target Oxbridge has helped 81 students to secure Oxbridge offers. Jesus College is proud to provide lectures, guidance and resource support for Target Oxbridge events. We have, through generous financial support from our alumni donors, been able to fund three places for this year’s Oxford based Target Oxbridge residential.

Universify

We’re excited to be supporting Universify Education’s Summer Course programme. The Course aims to provide students with academic, social and cultural experience of university, along with advice and guidance on university applications. By identifying barriers faced by high-achieving students from under-represented backgrounds, Universify Education inspire more year 10 students to strive for, apply to and be accepted by highly selective universities. At Jesus, we’re offering facilities and academic sessions to the students participating in this year’s Course… and we can’t wait to meet them!

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Don't be put off from applying to university - especially the University of Oxford. Check out our myth-busting page for answers to all your questions.

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