Jesus College and education charity Universify Education have teamed up to produce a new film that celebrates their five-year access partnership, and showcases the charity’s work to support young people facing barriers to higher education so they can fulfill their academic potential.
The film, titled ‘Working to support young people to achieve their potential’, was recorded during Universify’s Summer Residential at Jesus in August 2023. It features interviews with Dr Matt Williams and Megan Lee from the College’s Access & Outreach team, members of Universify, and some of the young people who took part in this year’s Residential.
Universify Education is committed to tackling inequalities in education, and showing that universities are open to anyone with academic potential, regardless of their background. Founded in 2016, it works with young people from non-selective state schools who are about to enter Year 11, and delivers a one-year programme involving three key elements: a six-day summer residential at a highly-selective university; monthly remote coaching; and a three-day GCSE revision weekend in spring.
The week-long residential at Jesus College gives participants a snapshot of life as an Oxford undergraduate. They attend academic seminars taught by College lecturers and students, complete a group work project, and take part in various social activities. Participants live in student accommodation, and get the opportunity to explore the city, helping them to feel comfortable in an academic setting, and easing concerns that they might feel out of place.
It is hoped that the new film will encourage more universities to form an access partnership with Universify Education. Ella Spilling, Schools and Students Communication Officer at Universify, explains “Partnerships are central to our programmes, and we are so excited to release this film in partnership with Jesus College. Partnering with universities enables us to deliver our year-long programme for raising aspirations, increasing attainment at GCSE and creating a sense of belonging in higher education. To grow our programme further and support more young people, we are seeking more university partnerships and encourage people to watch the film and share the link to our website.”