College welcomes Welsh state school learners to prestigious Seren Residential Summer School 2021

16 August 2021

Today we are delighted to welcome 76 young people from state schools across Wales to our prestigious Seren Residential Summer School 2021. 

Over the course of the coming week, the Year 12 students will enjoy a range of activities that bring to life the experience of studying at a top university, including lectures, seminars and tutorials. They’ll also be exploring the city’s museums and attractions, and getting advice on university applications and interviews from Jesus alumni and current students.

Jesus College has worked in partnership with the Welsh Government’s Seren programme, a model unique to Wales which supports the brightest year 8-13 students from Welsh state schools and FE colleges to help them achieve their full academic potential, since 2016. The College delivers two flagship Seren summer schools for hundreds of Welsh state school students each year: over a thousand have participated in the competitive study experiences since 2016, with 406 attending two events in 2021.

Our 2021 Seren Residential Summer School learners enjoy a welcome lunch and get to know one another.

Our 2021 Seren Residential Summer School learners enjoy a welcome lunch and get to know one another.


The fully-funded one-week residential school aims to provide year 12 students with an immersive university experience that gives them realistic taste of what studying at Oxford is like, and to encourage them to apply by showing that they have the ability to make applications to leading universities including Oxford. The week includes tutorials, seminars and lectures that place an emphasis on academic engagement, and aim to equip participants with the information, resources, inspiration and motivation to make competitive applications.

Dr Matt Williams, Jesus College Access Fellow, welcomes Seren learners on Day One.

Dr Matt Williams, Jesus College Access Fellow, welcomes Seren learners on Day One.


The summer school series also includes the Seren International Online Summer School, hosted in conjunction with partners Equal Education, which is designed to introduce Year 12 Seren students to the critical ways of thinking required in higher education and demanded by leading universities both in the UK and overseas. Many previous summer school attendees are now studying in the US at leading institutions including Yale, Harvard, and Stanford.

The College has maintained a strong connection with Wales since its founding in 1571 by a group of Welshmen led by Hugh Price, Treasurer of St David’s Cathedral. Its first fellows were mostly Welsh lawyers and as a result, for centuries, Jesus was known as Oxford’s ‘Welsh college’. Nowadays, Jesus College welcomes undergraduate and graduate students from across the globe, but its links to Wales continue through collaborative activities with the University and other Oxford colleges that are dedicated to improving access and equity in opportunity for school students across the country.

Jesus College’s relationship with Wales has been further enhanced thanks to the support of several Welsh alumni and one very famous Welsh actor. Last year, the summer school series was secured in perpetuity by the generosity of an endowment from Mr Oliver Thomas, a Jesus alumnus. In April this year, Jesus College announced the Michael Sheen Bursary – a new bursary scheme that will provide much-needed financial support for Welsh undergraduate students. The Michael Sheen Bursary has been developed in collaboration with, and is generously supported by, eminent Welsh actor and activist Michael Sheen, and will support students from across Wales.

Follow all the week’s activities via our Twitter account @JesusOxford