Target Oxford has launched a new outreach programme with Oxford’s Undergraduate Admissions office in a bid to target ethnic minority students applying to Oxford.

Over 40 state school students with African and Caribbean heritage stayed at St. Edmund’s Hall whilst they attended the three-day residential event.

The year 12 students received an introduction to life during and after Oxford, meeting both current undergraduates and alumni for mentorship.

They also took part in a number of academic workshops and lectures led by Oxford tutors and research staff.

Dr Samina Khan, Director of Admissions and Outreach at Oxford University, commented, “The first Target Oxbridge residential has been a real success: all the participants were fully engaged and particularly enjoyed the opportunity to see from our current undergraduates what life at Oxford can be like and how achievable an option it really can be. The feedback from students and participants alike was extremely positive, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Target Oxbridge to encourage and support more ethnically diverse applicants to Oxford.

“While Oxford is a popular choice for students from all backgrounds we know there are talented students who may not be considering us – we hope these initiatives will help shift the balance and put the benefits of an Oxford education on the agenda and within reach for more ethnic minority pupils.”

Naomi Kellman, Manager of Target Oxbridge, told Cherwell, “Rare launched Target Oxbridge in 2012 with the aim of helping black students to increase their chances of gaining places at Oxbridge and Cambridge. Since the launch of the programme we’ve helped 30 students gain places at Oxbridge, contributing to improving the representation of black students at Oxbridge.

“We are delighted that the University of Oxford has partnered with us this year to provide a three-day residential for the students on Target Oxbridge. We expect this residential to further help the students develop the skills they will need to succeed in the application process, and to envision themselves as future Oxbridge students.

“We look forward to seeing the outcomes for this year’s cohort, and hope to see a significant proportion of our students gaining places at Oxford or Cambridge.”

The programme is run by diversity recruitment firm Rare, which seeks to help students with African and Caribbean heritage increase their chances of gaining a place at Oxford or Cambridge.

The event makes up part of a yearlong programme by Target Oxbridge that supports students in their studies and application to university.

Academics and admissions staff from Oxford will offer subject-talks, master classes and application support before the admissions deadline on October 15 as part of the extended programme.

Oxford will also be hosting a new conference targeted at British Asian students in the Slough area as part of its aim to support ethnic minority students in their applications.

They already host an annual conference for African and Caribbean students.

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